An Augusta GreenJackets team known to win with its bats got the job done three strikes at a time Wednesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The GreenJackets picked up an 8-2 victory over the West Virginia Power thanks to Eric Surkamp, Ryan Verdugo and Shane Kaufman, who combined for a season-high 15 strikeouts for the team's third consecutive win.
Surkamp (6-4) fanned eight in six innings, while Verdugo only needed two innings to strike out six of the seven batters he faced. Catcher Johnny Monell said he didn't realize the strikeout total had grown so high.
"When the game's rolling along like that, and the pitchers are throwing strikes, it makes things go a lot faster," Monell said. "They were swinging at really good pitches Surkamp was throwing."
Surkamp's family made the more than eight-hour road trip from Cincinnati to see the left-hander a day before his 22nd birthday. They saw him strike out the side in the fourth inning and leave the game in the seventh with a 5-2 lead.
"I gave up some hits, but we were scoring so it was fine," he said. "When we get some runs early like that, the other team sometimes gets a little more aggressive and with the big lead you can just throw strikes."
Francisco Peguero, making his first appearance with Augusta since suffering an abdominal strain in April, doubled in his first at-bat to start the top of the first inning. He later scored for a 1-0 lead, and Augusta added two more runs on a Wendell Fairley double in the second.
"Wendell had the big hit early with the double to get everything going," GreenJackets manager Dave Machemer said. "Then (John) Mazzola's home run put it over the top."
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.