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Augusta Takes Care of Columbia Again

May 13, 2022 - Carolina League (CarL) - Augusta GreenJackets News Release

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC: Friday night was another successful Braves BUZZFest for the Augusta GreenJackets (19-12) as they handled the Columbia Fireflies (10-21), 6-3 to earn their sixth consecutive win.

It was the Fireflies getting on the board first in Friday's contests as Josh Rivera plated home a pair for Columbia with a two-run triple in the second inning to make it 2-0.

Augusta would get one back in the bottom half of the frame on a double-play off the bat of Connor Blair, scoring Brandon Parker to cut the deficit down to 2-1.

The GreenJackets would then snatch the lead from the Fireflies as they scored two on an error on a play that began off the bat of Cal Conley, scoring both Brian Klein and Caleb Durbin to put Augusta ahead 3-2.

That lead would remain intact thanks to a masterful night from J.J. Niekro out of the bullpen who dealt five shutout innings for Augusta while striking out a career-high nine batters with just one hit and one walk allowed, en route to his third winning decision of the season.

He would help the GreenJackets increase their lead in the sixth inning with a pair of two-out runs with Mahki Backstrom bringing Rusber Estrada home on an infield hit, and then after Backstrom got caught in a run-down, he stayed alive long enough to score Brandon Parker and move the advantage up to 5-2.

Columbia would hang around as they scored in the eighth inning on an RBI knock by Rubendy Jaquez to get the Fireflies within two at 5-3.

However, Augusta got that run back in the bottom half on an error that scored Stephen Paolini giving the GreenJackets their three-run cushion back.

In the ninth, it was Rob Griswold taking care of business as he retired the Fireflies in four batters to notch his fourth save of the season, locking down the 6-3 victory.

It was a great day for the GreenJackets pitching staff as the hurlers of Landon Leach, J.J. Niekro, Jorge Bautista, and Rob Griswold combined for 18 strikeouts, tying their season-best as a team.

Augusta's sixth straight win came on the heels of a good night from Brandon Parker who scored a pair of runs on two hits. Mahki Backstrom collected his second-straight multi-hit game with an RBI and Caleb Durbin also had a pair of hits including his team-best eighth double of the year.

The GreenJackets will look to continue their winning streak through Saturday as Luis Vargas toes the rubber versus Luinder Avila for Columbia. First pitch at SRP is slated for 6:05 pm.

The third homestand of the season for the Augusta GreenJackets continues on Saturday with the White Claw Pregame Concert Series with live music from Will McCraine (4:30-5:30pm) plus $4 White Claws until first pitch with another Fireworks Extravaganza following the game. The homestand finishes with Bark at the Park, Sunday Funday, Sunday Savings, and Jr. Jackets Kids Club.

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