In just his second season of professional baseball in the United States, Augusta GreenJackets second baseman Carlos Willoughby is still working on his English. But the 22-year-old Colombian knows enough of the language to explain how he was able to steal a win away from the Charleston RiverDogs Monday night.
"Running," he said. "Never stop."
Willoughby beat out a potential double-play ball to keep the eighth inning alive, then scored the game-winning run from first base on an Ehire Adrianza single and a costly error from Charleston center fielder Eduardo Sosa for a 2-1 Augusta win.
Willoughby, who found out earlier in the day he would join teammate Adam Duvall as starters in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, proved his worth once again with a 1 for 3 night that also included his league-leading 24th stolen base.
His eighth-inning sprint, in which he never break stride in scoring from first, gave the GreenJackets their fifth consecutive win over Charleston.
"He had the play in front of him, and he was coming with a lot of momentum, so I was sending him," manager Lipso Nava said of the game-winning play. "It feels good to be on this side of a play like that, because we've been on the other side before."
Sosa was poised to be the hero of the night before the costly error. His two-out single in the second gave his team a 1-0 lead that was held for most of the game thanks to a career performance from Charleston starter Jose Ramirez.
The right-hander threw a one-hit shutout over six innings but got a no decision. Nathan Forer (1-4) threw two innings of relief and fell victim to Sosa's error.
GreenJackets starter Justin Schumer, pitching in his first game in Augusta since spending a month on the disabled list with an oblique strain, allowed one run on four hits over six innings.
"We were trying to get 75 pitches out of him," Nava said. 'That's what we got. He was hitting his spots, and it was a great effort."
Seth Rosin (2-2) no-hit the RiverDogs in the seventh and eighth innings for his second consecutive win out of the bullpen, while Drew Bolin threw a perfect ninth for his third save.
The GreenJackets (25-33) won for the fifth time in eight games, while Charleston dropped its eighth loss in nine games.
Augusta pitchers Taylor Rogers and Stephen Harrold and pitching coach Steve Kline also earned trips to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game.