Monday Morning Mound Battle Goes to GreenJackets
North Augusta, SC: On an Education Day from Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky, the fans were treated to phenomenal pitching performances from both sides. In the 9th inning, a Jacob Gonzalez infield hit scored Aaron Bond from 3rd base to break the 1-1 tie, and Luis Amaya recorded the final three outs in the 9th to help the GreenJackets (18-18) get back to the .500 mark and win the series over Lexington (17-19).
In a true pitchers duel between GreenJackets starting pitcher Sean Hjelle and Lexington's Charlie Neuweiler, the two arms did not disappoint. Hjelle, who was throwing in Lexington, the same city where he went to school at the University of Kentucky, finished his afternoon after 4.1 innings and he did not allow a run.
In the 5th inning, when Hjelle left the game with Freddy Fermin on 1st base, Solomon Bates came in and recorded the 1st out. Jeison Guzman was up, and with two outs he lined one down the line in right field. A terrific relay caught Fermin at the plate trying to score from 1st base, and the game remained scoreless.
Neuweiler was dominant for the Legends, he went six-plus on the mound while collecting seven strikeouts and allowing only one run, but it was not earned. He ended his day though by allowing an infield single to Aaron Bond, followed by a four-pitch walk to Frankie Tostado to begin the 7th.
CJ Eldred came into the game and an error allowed a run to score for the GreenJackets to take a 1-0 lead. Lexington responded in the home-half of the 7th on a wild pitch from Solomon Bates, allowing Reed Rohlman to score from 3rd base, and it tied the game.
In the 8th inning, Luis Amaya came into the game and worked around a double for Matt Morales and the score remained tied.
In the 9th inning, after Aaron Bond led it off with a double, he was standing on 3rd base after Tostado grounded out to move him over. That proved to be critical, because Jacob Gonzalez's infield hit scored Bond and the Jackets took a 2-1 advantage.
Amaya got a three-up, three down 9th inning and the GreenJackets rolled to a win, as Amaya was the winning pitcher.
Player of the Game: Aaron Bond, 2-2, 2 R
After Diego Rincones left the game with an injury in the 4th, Aaron Bond came off the GreenJackets bench and played a pivotal role in the win. His leadoff double in the 9th inning helped Augusta score their 2nd run of the game and pick-up the win.
Tomorrow's Game: 10:35 AM @ Whitaker Bank Ballpark, Lexington, Kentucky
Pitching Matchup: (COL) RHP Willy Taveras (2-4, 3.97 ERA) (AUG) RHP Keaton Winn (1-2, 3.86 ERA)
Keaton Winn makes his 2nd start of the year after he started his first game of the season at West Virginia on May 9th. He went just 2.2 innings in that outing while allowing six runs, but only four were earned. Winn came into the appearance sporting a 2.74 ERA out of the GreenJackets bullpen where he was the long-reliever the Jackets consistently went to. Winn, a 5th round selection from Iowa Western Community College in 2018, was also selected in the 20th round by the Giants in 2017.
Willy Taveras has been one of the more reliable arms for Columbia this year. Despite an ERA of almost four, he has gone at least six innings in his last two starts. The 21-year old was signed from the Dominican Republic by the Mets in June of 2016.
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