For the first time in a five-game homestand, the Augusta GreenJackets finally came through at the plate with the game on the line. But they needed a little help to do it.
An announced crowd of 5,286 saw Luke Anders hit a slow grounder to third base with runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the 10th. The ball slipped under the glove of Charleston RiverDogs third baseman Rob Lyerly for a fielding error that allowed Ryan Cavan to score the game-winning run in a 7-6 Augusta win.
The error snapped a four-game losing streak for the GreenJackets and helped the home team avoid getting swept in a five-game series for the first time since at least 2004.
"We'll take it any way we can get it at this point," GreenJackets manager Dave Machemer said. "I thought we battled tonight. We had a big lead and lost it and we could have given up, but we battled the whole way."
Machemer shuffled the starting lineup, moving leadoff man Evan Crawford down to seventh and putting Daniel Cook at the top of the order. Hitting coach Lipso Nava took over the third base coaching duties instead of Machemer.
"Just had to try something different," Machemer said. "And it worked."
The GreenJackets had a chance to end the game in regulation, but the lack of offense that has plagued the team throughout the homestand became a factor again.
Charleston reliever Francisco Gil intentionally walked Hector Sanchez to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to get to Ydwin Villegas. The 19-year-old shortstop struck out looking to send the game into extra innings on a night when fans stuck around to see a postgame fireworks show.
GreenJackets starting pitcher Jeremy Toole was perfect through three innings and matched a career high with eight strikeouts in five innings. He allowed one unearned run on two hits and left the game with a 6-1 lead after five innings.
Charleston starter Sean Black gave up six runs, four earned, and didn't get out of the fifth inning.
The RiverDogs scored three in the sixth on a home run from DeAngelo Mack, his second of the series. Jimmy Paredes and J.R. Murphy tied the game in the seventh with back-to-back RBI singles.
But Augusta reliever Jose Casilla shut down Charleston over the final two innings, and Cavan and Chris Dominguez hit singles in the 10th inning to set up Anders' game-winner.