GreenJackets win, stretch start to 6-0

Augusta manager Roberto Kelly wants his team to remember it's a long season.


But so far, he couldn't ask for a better start.

The GreenJackets pounded out 14 hits and starter Adam Cowart pitched six strong innings in a 5-2 win over Savannah on Tuesday night in front of 1,012 fans at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

Augusta (6-0), which faces the Sand Gnats at 7:05 tonight in game three of its eight-game homestand, remains the only undefeated South Atlantic League team. Charleston (5-1), which comes into town Friday for a four-game set, lost to Asheville, 6-0.

"Things are going good," said Kelly, whose team has yet to trail in a game. "I just try to remind them it's not going to be like this the whole season. So enjoy it, but we still have work to do."

With his unique sidearm setup and delivery, Cowart dominated in his home debut. The right-hander allowed one run on five hits to improve to 2-0. Aside from striking out the side in the fourth inning, he induced 10 groundouts.

"The hitters really picked me up today," Cowart said. "I gave up some hard-hit balls early. I was just trying to locate the fastball; I threw a lot of fastballs. They just played really good defense behind me."

The 23-year-old Texan, who went 10-1 with a 1.08 ERA in 15 starts at Class A short-season Salem-Keizer last year, has been impressive thus far. In 10 innings total, Cowart has struck out seven and walked one.

His lone mistake Tuesday night came in the fourth inning. After allowing a leadoff single to Dan Stegall, Cowart threw the ball away on a potential pickoff, allowing Stegall to skirt over to third base. With two outs, D.J. Wabick slapped a game-tying single up the middle.

Augusta leadoff hitter Tyler Graham extended his hitting streak to six with his swinging bunt single down the third-base line in the sixth inning, his only hit in five attempts.

Catcher Henry Gutierrez entered the game as the GreenJackets' leading hitter. As the team's designated hitter, he continued his hot spell with a double in the first inning. He ended the game 3-for-4 from the plate with two RBI.

Augusta exploded for three runs in the decisive fourth inning. Sharlon Schoop's RBI single drove in Dayton Buller from third to give the GreenJackets a 2-1 lead. Brian Bocock followed with an RBI double, while Gutierrez later added a run-scoring single. Augusta led 4-1.

Reliever Juan Trinidad pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or


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