GreenJackets lose rain-shortened series opener

Losing streak extended to five

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A struggling Augusta GreenJackets team had two opponents working against it Friday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium. The Charleston RiverDogs grabbed an early one-run lead and the weather took care of the rest in a rain-shortened 2-1 Charleston victory.

The GreenJackets’ fifth consecutive defeat knocked the team further back in the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division standings after first-place Rome claimed its 12th consecutive victory.

“It seems like everything’s working against us right now – even the weather,” manager Lipso Nava said. “Maybe we could have gotten back in the game over the next two innings, but we’ll never know. All we can do is keeping going at it day in and day out and things will turn around for us.”

Augusta’s second five-game losing streak in two weeks was finalized after a squandered 1-0 lead. Kelby Tomlinson led off the bottom of the first with a single to right field, advanced to second on Jesus Galindo’s bunt single and scored on Devin Harris’ one-out dribbler through the left side of the infield.

Augusta starter Adalberto Mejia (7-7) failed to protect the lead in the top of the second when he hit Rob Refsnyder. After a stolen base, Saxon Butler’s grounder to second went through the legs of Jose Flores, allowing Refsnyder to score the tying run.

Refsnyder scored the game-winner two innings later. The reigning College World Series MVP from Arizona lined a one-out single to center in the fourth, took second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on Dante Bichette Jr.’s two-out single to left.

After Charleston took the lead, the GreenJackets managed just one base runner in the fourth and fifth innings.

The rain that had been falling for multiple innings was finally accompanied by a nearby lightning strike, prompting a weather delay.

After waiting 30 minutes, the game was called for good.

The team announced before the game that starting first baseman Ben Thomas had been placed on the suspended list. Nava didn’t provide any details.

CHARLESTON 2, AUGUSTA 1

PLAY OF THE GAME: With an Augusta runner at second and two outs, Charleston’s Rob Refsnyder made a diving catch near the right field line to take extra bases away from Shawn Payne and save what would have been the GreenJackets’ go-ahead run.

STAR OF THE GAME: Refsnyder, the reigning College World Series MVP, went 1 for 2, stole third base and scored both of Charleston’s runs.

NEXT: Augusta GreenJackets vs. Charleston RiverDogs, 7:05 p.m. today


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