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 Augusta GreenJackets

Jackets Shut out by Cannon Ballers in Series Opener

May 21, 2024 - Carolina League (CarL)
Augusta GreenJackets News Release

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC: A quick, low-scoring affair turned lopsided in the middle innings as the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers scored five runs in the top of the 6th, the only offense either team would provide in a 5-0 victory over the GreenJackets Tuesday evening.

Starters Didier Fuentes and Drew McDaniel went blow for blow through the first five innings, each turning in career performances to begin a week expected to be dominated by pitching. Fuentes matched his season high of 5 strikeouts in the 2nd inning en route to a career high 11 punchouts through five innings. McDaniel, who was coming off his best outing to date in which he went 7 scoreless with 9 strikeouts against Fayetteville, would match and eventually surpass his previous totals as he carved through the GreenJackets all night long.

Skipper Wynston Sawyer sent the 18 year old righty Fuentes out for the 6th inning for the first time in his young career, but the Cannon Ballers caused headaches immediately. Rikuu Nishida began the inning with a base hit off the glove of Fuentes that knocked the mitt right off his hand. Ryan Burrowes hit a ground ball that could have been a potential double play, but rolled through the legs of Diego Benitez to put two on with nobody out. Powerful lefty Caden Connor got ahead in the count, and launched a three-run homer off the batter's eye in center field to break the scoreless tie.

The home run would end the night for Fuentes, and saddle him with his first loss of 2024. Beau Philip came on to attempt a mop up role, but allowed two more runs in the inning (one earned) to bring the lead for Kannapolis to 5.

Augusta mustered two hits and drew two hit by pitches against Drew McDaniel, but the Ole Miss product was unflappable, posting 7 scoreless innings for the second straight game and marking a new career-high in strikeouts with 11 of his own in two more innings than Fuentes. Luke Bell and Christian Edwards each added a scoreless inning of their own to clinch the shutout for Kannapolis, their fourth in the last 8 games played. Will Silva was a late bright spot for the Augusta, striking out four in two scoreless innings at the end of the game, his 3rd straight scoreless appearance.

Kannapolis extends their lead at the top of the south division of the Carolina League, now sporting a record of 22-17. Augusta falls to 17-22, the furthest below .500 they have been this season. Luis Vargas makes his first scheduled start of 2024 tomorrow night after seeing a spot start last week and throwing admirably. He'll match up with Kannapolis righty Jake Peppers, who is 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA.

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