Mired in a scoring slump, Augusta manufactured the deciding run in textbook fashion on Wednesday night.
The GreenJackets scored the tying run in the fifth and go-ahead run in the sixth to beat the Hickory Crawdads 2-1 at Lake Olmstead Stadium, earning a series win in the rubber game.
Augusta (29-23) scored the tying run in the fifth on an error.
Catcher Eric Sim led off the sixth with a hit-by-pitch and advanced on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, second baseman Trevor Brown singled in the go-ahead run.
The GreenJackets left nine on base and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position in Tuesday’s loss. They again struggled driving in runs in this game, going 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranding 12.
“The good part is we got bunts down tonight,” manager Mike Goff said. “Our situational hitting still needs a lot of work. We’re in a funk with that right now, and it’s causing us to have to work twice as hard.”
Brown went 2 for 4 with an RBI and walk. Joe Rapp doubled for the only extra-base hit from the Augusta lineup.
The GreenJackets benefited from another strong effort by Joe Biagini on his 23rd birthday. He struck out a season-high nine while allowing one run on six hits in 6⅔ innings. He walked one, inducing a season-high 13 swinging strikes while allowing just two fly balls.
“Sim and I tried to use the changeup early, and it seemed like it was getting a lot of swing and misses,” Biagini said. “We were able to make some adjustments off that and use the curveball later in the game.”
Biagini has allowed just three runs over his past 20⅔ innings, totaling 18 strikeouts and two walks.
Hickory starter C.J. Edwards, ranked 14th in the Texas Rangers system by Baseball America from Prosperity, S.C., threw 3⅔ scoreless innings, recording seven strikeouts and four walks with one hit. Relievers Joe Burns and Keone Kela allowed the two GreenJackets runs.
The Crawdads (29-22) scored their only run on a Nick Urbanus RBI single in the third.