The leaping mass of high-fives, helmet slaps and smiling faces just off the first-base bag centered around Chris Lofton moments after his walk-off single snapped a three-game losing streak and gave the GreenJackets a 7-6 win over Delmarva on Tuesday night.
"We needed something like this bad," Lofton said. "We see this as a turning point."
The struggling GreenJackets (4-9) got a boost from Lofton and Raynor Campbell, who homered for the second night in a row to tie the game in the eighth and set up Lofton's ninth-inning heroics.
But manager Lipso Nava said the foundation for Tuesday's win started Monday when he saw a better overall effort from his team in a one-run loss. Starting a five-game series the following night, the GreenJackets' renewed focus finally paid off.
"Yesterday we had that better effort, and that's contagious," Nava said. "The guys were more into the game tonight, which was a good sign, and the level of energy was there."
The win was Augusta's second in five home games and came on a night when mistakes were plentiful. Delmarva committed three of its four errors on one play and allowed the GreenJackets to climb back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the fifth.
Augusta spoiled a potential double play after Josh Mazzola dropped a ball that kept the seventh inning alive long enough for Delmarva to reclaim the lead.
But Campbell's two-run blast in the eighth tied the game, and three walks from Delmarva reliever Clay Schrader loaded the bases in the ninth. Lofton worked the count full, then fouled off two pitches before his high-chopping grounder cleared a pulled-in infield to score the winning run.
"I was looking for a fastball, and he gave it to me. I just kept fouling it off," Lofton said. "I just wanted to put the ball in play."