Augusta GreenJackets second baseman Ryan Cavan could have easily bailed on any of the three double-plays he helped turn in Thursday night's 5-4 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators. The base runners slid hard into second each time, trying to break up Cavan's attempts to throw to first.
The 23-year-old prospect was ready.
"Just last series in Lexington I got taken out the hardest ever," Cavan said. "So I've been practicing on making the turn while jumping out of the way. I had to use it twice tonight."
Cavan stayed home long enough to turn all three double plays and executed a heads-up play in the eighth inning by throwing behind the runner rounding third to gun down the potential game-tying run. The switch-hitting second baseman also walked three times in four trips to the plate and scored once in the win.
"It was all about Cavan tonight," GreenJackets manager Dave Machemer said. "He can turn it. He showed he's not afraid to get the job done out there."
GreenJackets catcher Hector Sanchez delivered a bases-loaded double in the sixth inning to score two runs and break a tie game.
Kannapolis committed four errors; the final two came from Intimidator shortstop Zach Kayne and led directly to Evan Crawford's run in the seventh to seal the victory.
The GreenJackets trailed early when pitcher Zack Wheeler made his first start since May 18. The San Francisco Giants' 2009 first-round pick pitched only one inning as he eased his way back into action after spending more than six weeks on the disabled list with a cracked fingernail on his throwing hand.
Wheeler struck out three of the five batters he faced but also surrendered a single and a triple to give up one earned run. Of his 19 pitches, 18 were fastballs, which ranged from 94 to 97 mph.
"I felt good, felt strong," Wheeler said. "The fingernail is still getting better."