FREDERICKSBURG, Va – The winning ways for the Augusta GreenJackets (19-19) continued Friday night as they defeated the Fredericksburg Nationals (25-14) 7-4 for their ninth win in their last ten games.
After a scoreless first two innings, Kadon Morton broke the stalemate with a no-doubt, two-run homer to left field to put Augusta ahead 2-0 in the third.
In the fourth, two more runs would score with Keshawn Ogans bringing home Adam Zebrowski with an RBI single to make it 3-0. With runners at the corners, the GreenJackets pulled off a first and third steal attempt with E.J. Exposito beating the throw home from second to elevate the lead to 4-0.
An inning later, Augusta manufactured another run with a base hit by David McCabe to score Drake Baldwin from second to extend the GreenJackets’ advantage to 5-0.
But the Nationals would make their run in the fifth by scoring four runs on five hits with the most significant knock coming from Jacob Young who drove in two with a bloop hit to right field, helping Fredericksburg trim Augusta’s 5-0 lead down to 5-4.
The game would remain locked-in at 5-4 for a while as the GreenJackets’ bullpen was lights-out from the sixth inning on starting with James Acuña who dealt a scoreless sixth in relief of Sam Strickland. Rob Griswold relieved him in the next frame and spun a shutout seventh. He delivered the first two outs of the eighth before Tyler Owens entered the get the final out and he achieved that by getting T.J. White to bounce out to shortstop, ending the inning.
In the final frame, with the GreenJackets in search of some insurance runs, they’d get a pair courtesy of their catcher Adam Zebrowski who drilled his second home run of the series with a two-out, two-run homer to give Augusta a three-run cushion at 7-4.
Tyler Owens would proceed to pitch the ninth and he retired the side in order to secure another Augusta victory over the Nationals by a 7-4 score.
Sam Strickland (5-2) earned his fourth win in his last five starts by dealing five innings on the mound with Tyler Owens (4) staying perfect in save opportunities. Fredericksburg starter Jackson Rutledge (5-6) took the loss for the Nationals.
Kadon Morton and Adam Zebrowski each had multiple hits and a two-run home run on Friday night while David McCabe reached three times total with two hits, including an RBI in the fifth to give Augusta a 5-0 lead. Keshawn Ogans produced his first multi-hit game as a GreenJacket, finishing 2/5 with an RBI. E.J. Expositio also added two hits by going 2/4 with a run scored.
The GreenJackets will now go for a series victory on Saturday as they send Luis Vargas (4-4) to the mound to face Andry Lara (2-6) for the Nationals with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m.
The tenth homestand of the season for the GreenJackets begins on Tuesday, August 16 against the Charleston RiverDogs (Tampa Bay Rays) with $2 TWOsday and First Responder Tuesday. The week continues with Warrior Wednesday, the Corona Bucket Special, and Baseball Bingo. Thursday is a double-header at SRP Park starting at 5:05 with a special appearance from the Dueling Pianos Group and Thirsty Thursday. The weekend begins with Sweetwater Night at the ballpark with specialty jerseys with an auction that will benefit North Augusta Forward/FROG in addition to Braves BUZZFest. The White Claw Pregame Concert Series starts off Saturday Night with live music from Greg Fortune from 4:30-5:30 with a postgame fireworks extravaganza to follow. The homestand wraps up Auggie’s Birthday Bash as you can celebrate the birthday of the best mascot in CSRA.