The Augusta GreenJackets topped the Charleston RiverDogs by the score of 5-4 in a back-and-forth affair at Joe Riley Park Friday night.
In the first, the RiverDogs tagged Baragar to jump out to an early lead. Dom Thompson-Williams got things started with a single to center field. Diego Castillo ripped a liner into the right center field gap that was misjudged by centerfielder Johneshwy Fargas for a triple that brought Thompson-Williams home. Brandon Wagner then plated Castillo by lacing a single up the middle to make it 2-0 RiverDogs.
Nick Green was cruising along until the fifth. Green did not allow a hit in the first four and two-thirds innings. Kelvin Beltre singled to centerfield and Michael Bernal followed with a line drive single to right to place runners and first and second. Adam Sonabend then singled to centerfield to bring home Beltre to make it 2-1. Fargas double to the right center field gap to bring home Bernal and Sonabend and give the Jackets a 3-2 lead.
The RiverDogs fought back to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth off of Jackets reliever Nolan Riggs (W, 3-5) Castillo doubled into the left field corner to lead off the inning. Wagner moved him along to third base with a ground out to second base. Gilliam looped a ball into left field over the drawn-in infield to tie the game at three. Gilliam stole second with Dermis Garcia at the plate and advanced to third on a throwing error from the catcher Sonabend. Riggs uncorked a wild pitch to allow Gilliam to score the go-ahead run and put the score at 3-2 in favor of Charleston.
Augusta wouldn’t go quietly in the ninth though. With Christian Morris pitching in his fourth inning in relief of Green, Jean Angomas lined a single to centerfield to start the inning. Skyler Ewing followed that by lasering a ball into left field to place runners at second and third. Against the drawn-in infield, Sandro Fabian singled into left field to score Angomas and tie the game at four. Morris (L, 4-2) then struck out Beltre to bring up Michael Bernal. Bernal hit a fly ball to left, Ewing beat the throw in from Dalton Blaser in left to give the Jackets a 5-4 lead. Morris would get Sonabend to strike out the inning.
Patrick Ruotolo would come in and strike out the side in the ninth to earn his 15th save of the season and send the Jackets to victory.
“I thought Nick Green threw the ball really well for four innings and then they put a little run together in the fifth where they scored three runs on four hits. And then we did a nice job climbing back and finding away to push ahead there in the eight. Then they came back in the ninth and put another nice rally together, so credit to them,” RiverDogs manager Patrick Osborn said.
Diego Castillo was the hitting star for the Dogs as he went 3-for-3 while scoring two runs and driving in one. He ended up a home run short of the cycle. “He’s been swinging the bat well. I believe he had three hits last night. Mulitple hits tonight, so nice little run he’s on,” Osborn said of Castillo.
With the loss, the Dogs drop to 34-19 on the second half and 68-55 overall. The RiverDogs lead in the second half Southern Division race drops to five and a half game with a Rome win over Columbia and the magic number stays at 12. Augusta improved to 23-30 on the second half and 46-72 overall.