FAYETTEVILLE, NC: The Augusta GreenJackets (35-29) began their final series of the first half on Tuesday night on the road against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (30-33) and snapped their three-game losing streak in the opener with a 2-1 victory thanks to some excellent pitching.
The game began in Augusta’s favor as the GreenJackets scored twice in the second inning starting with an RBI double by Adam Zebrowski to score Stephen Paolini and make it 1-0. Another run would score on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Caleb Durbin, which brought Zebrowski home from third to up the lead to 2-0.
Behind another fantastic showing by the pitching staff, headed by J.J. Niekro, that’s all the runs the GreenJackets would need.
J.J. Niekro dominated on the mound once again by pitching six shutout innings allowing just four hits and no walks with seven strikeouts for his third quality start of the season. In the process, Niekro pushed his current scoreless streak to 22.2 innings.
Darling Florentino entered for Niekro in the seventh and the Woodpecker manufactured a run off the right-hander with two outs on a double by Yeuris Ramirez to cut the Augusta lead in half at 2-1.
In the eighth, Ronaldo Alesandro took over for Florentino and handled business by stranding a two-out walk to push the game into the final frame with the GreenJackets still ahead 2-1.
Augusta came up empty in the top of the ninth, but Alesandro still brought the GreenJackets to the finish line with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth with a pair of strikeouts to close out a 2-1 victory in the first game of the series.
J.J. Niekro improved to 7-0 on the season for Augusta, earning his fourth consecutive victory on the mound with Ronaldo Alesandro earning his first save of the season by recording the final six outs. Fayetteville starter Carlos Calderon (2-3) was saddled with the defeat.
Adam Zebrowski and Caleb Durbin were the main catalysts offensively for the GreenJackets on Tuesday as each picked up RBIs in the second inning. For Zebrowski, it was his 31st of the season while Durbin collected his team-best 40th. Kadon Morton produced his eighth multi-hit game of the season with a 2/3 night while also adding a walk to reach three times.
Game two between the GreenJackets and Woodpeckers comes from Segra Stadium at 7:05 pm on Wednesday night.
The GreenJackets return home for an incredible week of promotions at SRP Park when they host the Columbia Fireflies (Kansas City Royals) starting on Tuesday, June 28 with $2 TWOsday. Warrior Wednesday follows that along with Baseball Bingo and the Corona Bucket Special. It’s Red, White, and Beer Thirsty Thursday to conclude the month of June.
On Friday, July begins with another Braves Buzzfest in addition to House GreenJackets night where the first 1,000 fans can receive a house flag sponsored by Savanah River Brewing Company. Independence weekend at SRP Park is going to be big with two of the best fireworks shows of the year on both Saturday and Sunday night with the White Claw Pregame Concert Series prior to both games with Brandon Bower performing before Saturday’s game, followed by Guns for Hire on Sunday.