Augusta GreenJackets (Giants) vs. Greenville Drive (Red Sox)
WHEN: today, 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: Lake Olmstead Stadium: directions
WEATHER: Sunny and 80 degrees at game time with no chance of rain: forecast
PROMOTION: Shepeard Community Blood Center Night with postgame concert from Jenni Alpert.
TICKETS: Start at $8. Call the box office at (706) 922-WINS or visit GreenJacketsBaseball.com.
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1340 AM WYNF
IN-GAME UPDATES: On Twitter (@BillyByler) or receive text alerts on your phone.
STANDINGS: Augusta 31-35, 6th SAL Southern; Greenville 32-35, 5th SAL Southern
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Augusta leads season series 6-3 and current series 2-0.
PROBABLE STARTERS: GreenJackets LHP Edwin Escobar (2-4, 4.03) vs. Drive RHP Noe Ramirez (0-0, 0.00).
Brace yourselves, regular GreenJackets game attenders. Lake Olmstead Stadium will be flooded with literally thousands of Augusta's most generous people tonight on Shepeard Community Blood Center Night (or, as I like to call it, Vampire Appreciation Night). General admission tickets are already sold out, so you'll want to get to the ballpark early to claim your seat. Tonight has the potential to be another record-setting night for paid attendance at the ballpark.
Those fans just might get a good show from the GreenJackets, which wasn't exactly a guarantee earlier this year. The team seems to have found its footing lately on the offensive side. The pitching has almost always been there, but the bats had been lacking. They came alive just in time in Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader with four runs in the final inning of an exciting, walk-off win. Six more runs in the first two innings of Game 2 sealed the twinbill sweep.
The Thirsty Thursday fans also saw another hot bat in the form of Boston Red Sox outfielder Jason Repko, who is on a minor league rehab assignment with the Drive. He drilled a triple in his first at bat with a bullet to the center field wall and finished Game 1 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Though I haven't heard for sure, I expect him to be in the lineup tonight.
Keep an eye on another Drive player tonight. Starting pitcher Noe Ramirez will make his second pro start after a strong effort in his debut on Sunday. The Red Sox 2011 fourth-round pick, who suffered an injury in spring training, threw five perfect innings against Hickory. He was an all-american in college at Cal State Fullerton last year and has the potential to be a big league pitcher.
Two more notes: First, Madison Younginer, the North Augusta native on the Drive roster, is not scheduled to make a start this series. He's been on the disabled list for more than a week. Second, if you can't find a seat in tonight's crowd, come back Saturday for dairy night, complete with live cows. Yes, live cows. It's not quite as exciting as the live tiger that was here two years ago, but it's a cow. Only in A Ball.