Augusta’s recent offensive woes continued as Savannah took the rubber game, 4-1, on Wednesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Savannah pitchers Robert Whalen and Miller Diaz combined to give up only one run and five hits. Augusta went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and have scored only seven runs in its past four games.
Whalen allowed one unearned run on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts. The right-hander, drafted in the 12th round in 2012, induced seven ground balls and 10 swinging strikes.
Diaz backed Whalen with four scoreless innings on three
hits with five strikeouts.
“Both did great jobs,” Sand Gnats manager Luis Rojas said. “They had their fastball command and some secondary pitches that got some swinging strikes. Both were pretty consistent with getting strikes and getting ahead of hitters. They were aggressive early in counts to get ahead.”
Over the past four games, the GreenJackets (8-6) have recorded 31 strikeouts – 11 of those came Wednesday.
The Sand Gnats (9-4) started the scoring in the first inning when Gavin Cecchini doubled leading off and scored on a groundout by Jared King.
They added three in the third on a sacrifice fly by Jeff McNeil and a two-run single by Stefan Sabol.
The GreenJackets scored their only run in the fourth on a throwing error by catcher Colton Plaia.
Augusta starter Luis Ysla threw two good innings before running into control issues. He backed off his fastball and began grooving it, leading to the three-run third.
Ysla allowed four runs with three walks and three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.
Reliever Carlos Alvarado threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Jake Smith followed with three scoreless innings to keep the GreenJackets in the game.
“Augusta has great pitching,” Rojas said. “It’s great for our hitters’ development to see pitching like that.”