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Key break helps Jackets avoid sweep

August 31, 2009 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Augusta GreenJackets News Release

Charleston, SC - In a game that was all but tied - even according to the scoreboard - the Augusta GreenJackets managed to hang on to the lead through a tough seventh inning in a 2-1 win over the Charleston RiverDogs. The win is just the second for the GreenJackets in their just-completed road trip and helps them avoid a sweep by the RiverDogs.

Leading 2-0 in the seventh, a tiring Eric Surkamp allowed a one-out single by Abraham Almonte that cut Augusta's lead in half. Justin Fitzgerald came out of the bullpen and walked Corban Joseph to load the bases, setting the stage for Melky Mesa's fly ball into shallow right-center. Francisco Peguero made the catch for the second out and threw home to try and nail Jose Pirela, trying to score from third. The throw bounced past catcher Johnny Monell, but Pirela never touched home and with the GreenJackets dugout pointing that out to Fitzgerald, the reliever touched home to retire Pirela for the third out of the inning and wipe the tying run off the scoreboard.

The Jackets took that lead with a Charlie Culberson RBI single in the fourth followed by Monell scoring on wild pitch on a dropped strike three to Jose Flores. Surkamp (10-5) made the lead hold until the seventh, tossing 6.2 innings of one-run baseball on four hits and four walks, with eight strikeouts.

He was evenly matched by Charleston starter Alan Horne, who survived three walks and a wild pitch in a rough fourth to fire seven strong innings. Horne (0-1) struck out five and allowed two runs on six hits.

The game featured several missed opportunities for both Augusta and Charleston as both teams left nine men on base, with the RiverDogs stranding six of those runners in the first three innings.

The GreenJackets got 2.2 scoreless, no-hit innings out of relievers Fitzgerald and Chris Wilson to preserve Surkamp's win. Wilson struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn his seventh save and to make Surkamp the first Augusta starter this year to reach double-digit win totals.

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