GreenJackets save best for last in blowout win

Augusta tops Savannah 10-1

Augusta wrapped up its longest homestand of the year Tuesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium, and the GreenJackets saved the best for last.


Clayton Blackburn allowed one run over eight innings and the GreenJackets backed him up with 14 hits in a 10-1 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats.

An announced crowd of 3,907 fans celebrated the largest home margin of victory this season with a postgame fireworks show. Jeff Arnold homered for a 2-0 lead in the second, Garrett Buechele, Elliott Blair and Arnold each doubled in a three-run fourth. The GreenJackets blew the game open with a four-run sixth capped by Ben Thomas’ bases-loaded double.

The 10 runs were just one shy of the team’s total offensive output in the past four games combined.

“We needed a day like this after the lack of offense we’ve had through this series,” manager Lipso Nava said. “It was good to see the guys take advantage of runners in scoring position.”

Kelby Tomlinson, 2 for 11 entering the series finale, went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, an RBI single in the fourth and a triple in the seventh.

Arnold, who went 2 for 3, had his first three-RBI game of the season and did so with his parents in town from Kentucky.

“It was good because earlier in the year I don’t think I got one hit both times they came,” he said. “The home run was great, but it was nice to hit that double the other way. That’s what I was trying to do in that at bat.”

Blackburn (6-2) struck out eight and walked none for his third win over Savannah this season. The 19-year-old right-hander has won each of his past five starts. His latest victory came with the benefit of 14 ground balls and only two flyouts.

Blackburn’s lone mistake was allowing a Yucarybert De La Cruz home run with one out in the eighth. Blackburn gave up a single on the next at-bat but got out of the inning with a double play.

Reliever Andrew Burger threw a perfect ninth.

Savannah starter Logan Verrett (2-2) took the loss after giving up five runs on nine hits over five innings.

The GreenJackets (8-5, 40-42 overall) remained tied for second place in the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division, two games behind first-place Rome.

Savannah (4-9, 45-34) still took three of five in the series and won the season series 13-12.


PLAY OF THE GAME: GreenJackets catcher Jeff Arnold sparked the offense with a two-run homer well over the left-field wall with one out in the second inning.

STAR OF THE GAME: Starter Clayton Blackburn picked up his fifth win in five starts with an eight-inning, eight-strikeout effort.

NEXT: 7:05 p.m. today, Augusta GreenJackets at Asheville Tourists

News Gallery: GreenJackets vs. Sand Gnats