A one-two-three combination at the top of the Augusta GreenJackets' order led the way in a 9-3 victory over the Greenville Drive on Saturday night.
Shane Jordan, Brock Bond and Nick Noonan - the first three batters in Augusta's lineup - combined to go 7-for-11 with 7 RBI in the win . It was just one more sign that the GreenJackets, who opened the season with three consecutive losses, are beginning to find their footing.
"All three of those guys are playing as well as we could have hoped," GreenJackets manager Andy Skeels said.
Noonan hit 3-for-5 with a game-high 5 RBI. He had a first-inning triple that scored Jordan and Bond for an early 2-0 lead.
Jordan went 1-for-2 , reaching base four of the five times he stepped to the plate on three walks and a single. Bond added a 2-for-4 day with a pair of RBI.
Bond, seeing significant time as a designated hitter this year for the first time, said it's a role that he's more than happy to play.
"I'm used to playing second base. That's what I did every day in Salem last year," he said. "But there's a bunch of guys here, and they can all play. I don't think it's any different (when you're a designated hitter). It's the same approach. As long as I'm getting at-bats, I fine with it."
While his team put up five runs in the first five innings, GreenJackets starter T.J. Brewer (1-1) was shutting out the visiting Drive. He allowed three hits, struck out five and walked one.
"I think he was effectively wild," Skeels said. "It certainly worked out in our favor. He was spotty at best, and they bailed him out a little bit. But you can't argue with the results tonight."
Relievers Waldis Joaquin (two innings) and Daniel Otero (one) pitched the rest of the way.
Thomas Neal hit the GreenJackets' first home run at Lake Olmstead Stadium this season with a two-run shot to left in the fifth inning.
Star of the Game: Second baseman Nick Noonan went 3-for-5 with five RBI in Augusta's second-biggest offensive output of the season.
Play of the Game: Greenville's Josh Reddick tried to stretch a stand-up triple to the deepest part of the park in center into an inside-the-park home run. GreenJackets left fielder Ramon Corona relayed to shortstop Charlie Culberson who fired to catcher Jackson Williams to gun down Reddick at the plate.
Next: The GreenJackets and Drive will continue their three-game series today at 2:05 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Stadium.