NORTH AUGUSTA, SC: On a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon, the Augusta GreenJackets (33-26) put together another outstanding pitching performance as they shutout the Charleston RiverDogs (40-19), 4-0.
The GreenJackets offense followed a similar formula from Tuesday’s victory by scoring early against Charleston starting pitcher Ben Peoples with Kadon Morton getting Augusta on the board with a two-run double to score Braulio Vasquez and Connor Blair to put the GreenJackets ahead 2-0 in the second inning.
In the ensuing frame, they added another run on an RBI single by Braulio Vasquez that brought Brandon Parker in from second base to increase the lead to 3-0.
In the fourth inning, Caleb Durbin used his power swing to send a baseball over the left field wall to make it 4-0 Augusta on his third homer of the season.
That proved to be plenty of support for the GreenJackets as their pitchers put on a show against the RiverDogs, headed by J.J. Niekro who dealt five shutout innings with seven strikeouts.
Niekro gave way to Jose Montilla who made his first appearance in Augusta on his minor league rehab assignment as he struck out a pair in the sixth, keeping Charleston off the board to hold the 4-0 lead in place.
He handed the baton to Tyler Owens in the seventh and he took the GreenJackets to the finish line by shutting down the RiverDogs in the final three innings by giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out four. The right-hander got the final nine outs for Augusta to earn his first save and secure a 4-0 shutout victory.
J.J. Niekro (6-0) earned a win in his third consecutive start and in the process has tossed 18-straight shutout innings on the mound, the longest streak by a GreenJacket pitcher this season. RiverDogs’ starting pitcher Ben Peoples (2-3) took the loss on Wednesday afternoon.
The Augusta offense out-hit Charleston 7-4 led by Braulio Vasquez who was 2/4 with an RBI and a run scored. Kadon Morton drove in two with his two-bagger in the second to give Augusta the early lead while Caleb Durbin picked up RBI number 36 on his third home run of 2022 in the fourth inning.
The GreenJackets will look to make it three-straight wins over the Riverdogs on Thursday night as Jordano Perez toes the rubber versus JJ Goss for Charleston with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.