A left-hander in the Texas Rangers system pitched in front of a hometown crowd for the first time in his pro career, but it was the Augusta GreenJackets who stole the spotlight in a 7-1 victory Sunday.
Former South Aiken star Andrew Faulkner returned home as the starter for the Hickory Crawdads in the series finale Sunday, riding a recent hot streak on the mound. But the GreenJackets roughed him up for five runs as Augusta (20-16) beat Hickory (20-17) to sweep the series.
“It’s nice to come home and have the crowd yell for you instead of at you,” Faulkner said. “Me and my family have always come out (to Lake Olmstead Stadium), especially on games with fireworks. So to come back, and even watch the fireworks again, it’s pretty crazy.”
Faulkner worked both sides of the plate for two scoreless innings, but an error and a single set up a two-run double by Jose Flores in the third that gave the GreenJackets the lead for good.
After a scoreless fourth, Faulkner walked the bases loaded in the fifth, and Hickory brought in Jose Mavare.
Devin Harris doubled off Mavare, and all three runs were charged to Faulkner.
Faulkner entered the game having allowed five runs in his past 251/3 innings. He allowed three earned runs and five total on three hits in 41/3 innings against Augusta, walking four and striking out four.
“I think I threw well,” he said.
“My command was good, but I struggled late. Overall, it was a pretty decent outing.”
Augusta starter Paul Davis allowed six hits over seven shutout innings, walking one and striking out five. He gave up two doubles and four singles.
Davis’ control, which has been a staple all season – 11 walks in 68 innings entering the game – was again on point. He has walked seven in his past 45 2/3 innings.
“He did a great job of changing speeds and commanding his fastball,” manager Lipso Nava said. “His command continues to be strong, and since we’ve moved him to the rotation recently, you can see why.”
Harris had three RBI, and Flores added two doubles and two RBI for the GreenJackets. Brett Krill and Kelby Tomlinson added an RBI each.