South Atlantic League records don't include a category for consecutive shutout innings pitched by a team. But with league president Eric Krupa in attendance at Lake Olmstead Stadium on Tuesday night, the Augusta GreenJackets pitching staff made a convincing case for a new entry.
Starter Zack Wheeler and reliever Mitch Lively combined for nine scoreless innings, as the GreenJackets ran their shutout streak to 36 innings in a 1-0 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats.
Krupa said he doesn't recall such a shutout streak in league history. The GreenJackets haven't given up a run since last week and matched a league record by shutting out an opponent in three consecutive games.
"We like all the arms we've got on this club," GreenJackets manager Dave Machemer said. "We've got a good staff, and everyone's performing at the top of their game right now."
For the second time in three nights, Evan Crawford came up with the hit that scored the winning run in the final inning. Crawford, whose single in the bottom of the 18th on Sunday led to the game's winning run, had a bases-loaded single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to score Ryan Cavan.
"Your heart's thumping, but at the same time you want to be the one to come up in that situation," Crawford said.
"The pitching's been outstanding here. You kind of feel bad because you feel like we're not pulling our weight offensively."
While Augusta's pitchers extended the shutout streak, Savannah starter Brandon Moore turned in the best performance. He struck out 12 and walked none in seven shutout innings but left in a scoreless tie.
Wheeler allowed two hits and struck out seven over six scoreless innings, and Lively (3-1) gave up just one hit over the final three innings to get the win.
The GreenJackets (24-15) extended their season-best winning streak to five games and pulled even with Savannah for the best record in the South Atlantic League.