Augusta Rebounds, Pounds Lakewood

With their backs against the wall, the Augusta GreenJackets found their bats and life for another day. They pounded out the hits and pounded in the runs to stave off elimination and force Game 4 in their best of 5 series.

After two painfully close losses of 2-1, the GreenJackets did something that had only been done once before this season.

The GreenJackets put up double digit runs against Lakewood and won 11-1 to avoid being swept and force a Game 4 in their best-of-5 series for the South Atlantic League championship.

Third baseman David Maroul led the GreenJackets, going 4 for 5 with 3 doubles, 3 runs scored and 3 RBI to raise his postseason batting average to .389.  All 10 runs batted in that Augusta were credited with were collected by the bottom 5 batters in the order.

The 11 runs scored against the Blueclaws was tied for the most this year, along with Lake County’s 11-1 win over Lakewood on August 26th.

Augusta got underway with a little help from Lakewood.  Michael Mooney singled to lead off the 2nd inning, and with one out, Ben Copeland singled to right field.  Mooney ran hard and came home as right fielder Matt Thayer threw the ball errantly away from the cutoff man.  Maroul followed with a single to score Copeland, and Pablo Sandoval hit the first of his two doubles, moving Maroul to third.  Anthony Contreras contributed with a sacrifice fly to finish off the scoring in the 3 run inning.

The GreenJackets kept the pressure on in the 3rd, scoring three more runs.  Catcher Barry Gunther had an RBI single and Copeland followed with an RBI triple to push Lakewood starting pitcher Ben Pfinsgraff from the game.  Maroul doubled to score Copeland after Pfinsgraff left.

Pfinsgraff was also the starter for the other game that Lakewood allowed 11 runs in back in August.

Copeland finished the day 3 for 4 with a triple, 2 RBI and a walk.  Sandoval was 2 for 5 with 2 doubles, and Michael Mooney was 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored.  Eugenio Velez was 1 for 5 but also got Augusta’s first stolen base of the season.

The pitching for Augusta stayed spectacular, as the starter allowed only one run for the third time in three games.  That was Robert Grace, who only went 4 innings.  Reliever Kelvin Pichardo picked up the win in relief, throwing 5 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits and 1 hit batsman while striking out 7.

Game 4 will take place Thursday afternoon at 7:05 PM ET.  Augusta will put Ryan Shaver (11-6, 3.64 ERA in the regular season) on the mound, and Lakewood will counter with the SAL’s winningest pitcher, Matthew Maloney (16-9, 2.03 ERA in the regular season).

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