The starting rotation for the Augusta GreenJackets (9-7) has been lethal over the last week. On Tuesday night against the Hickory Crawdads (12-5), Blake Rivera continued that storyline with five innings on the mound, allowing just one run and striking out nine, while the offense did plenty of damage at the plate to pick up a 5-1 win over the Hickory Crawdads.
It was the first win of Rivera’s professional career. Over the last seven games for the GreenJackets, the starting pitchers have an ERA of 1.35 and have allowed just 14 hits.
On offense, the GreenJackets first run of the game came in the 2nd inning. A double from Jacob Gonzalez led the inning off, followed by a double from Aaron Bond gave Augusta the early 1-0 lead.
After Blake Rivera struck-out the side in the 2nd inning, he gave up his first run since his 1st start back on April 10th at Greenville. An RBI double for Jonathan Ornelas tied the score at one.
That was all the Crawdads could score off Blake Rivera though over five frames. His nine strikeouts were a career high.
The Augusta offense put up two more runs in the 4th inning. A sacrifice fly from Jacob Gonzalez made it 2-1 GreenJackets and then Aaron Bond came up and drove in his 2nd run of the night with an RBI double to make it 3-1. Bond goes 2-4 with 2 RBI and made a diving play in the 8th, followed by a throw to 1st base to double off the runner.
Frankie Tostado’s moonshot in the 6th extended the lead to 4-1 for Augusta. It was the 3rd home run of the season for Tostado, on his way to a 2-4 night. Shane Matheny then hit his 3rd home run of the season as well in the 8th. Tostado also had a 2-4 game. The solo bomb made it 5-1 GreenJackets.
Preston White and Jesus Tona came out of the bullpen and put up four innings of no-hit baseball. Each went two innings on the mound. Tona has now gone nine innings on the mound to start the season without allowing a run.
The GreenJackets get the 5-1 win over Hickory, and go to 9-7 on the season. Hickory falls to 12-5.
Player of the Game: Blake Rivera, 5 IP, 1 ER, 9 SO-1 BB
What more can you say about Blake Rivera? After he couldn’t make it through the 2nd inning of his first start in Greenville, Rivera has returned by going 10 innings allowing just one run in his last two starts.
Tomorrow’s Game: 6:30 p.m. @ Hickory Crawdads, Matthew Frisbee (AUG) (0-0, 2.45 ERA) vs Yerry Rodriguez (HIC) (1-1, 1.00 ERA)
Matthew Frisbee will make his 2nd start of the season after beginning the year as a reliever. In Frisbee’s first start, the right-hander went four innings and allowed just one hit without giving up a run. For the season, Frisbee has 17 strikeouts to only five walks.
Opposing Frisbee will be 21-year old Yerry Rodriguez. Rodriguez was signed in 2015 by the Texas Rangers as an International Free Agent. Last season, between the Arizona League and Class-A Short Season, Rodriguez went 5-2 with a 2.86 ERA.
COURTESY AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS