What was billed as a strong pitching matchup between high draft picks proved true over the first three innings, and the Augusta bullpen took it the rest of the way.
Augusta starter Martin Agosta combined with two relievers to shut down the Greenville Drive in a 2-0 GreenJackets win Tuesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Agosta was pulled after three innings because of his pitch count, throwing three hitless innings with four strikeouts while nearing 50 pitches.
It was Agosta’s first start since leaving early in a July 21 start because of a blister on his right middle finger. GreenJackets manager Mike Goff said Agosta felt fine after Tuesday’s outing.
Augusta reliever Ian Gardeck allowed two hits and had two strikeouts in four scoreless innings of relief. After additional rest at the end of July, Gardeck has allowed one run in his past 11⅔ innings.
“(Catcher Ben Turner) had me in a great sync,” Gardeck said. “I trusted my pitches and trusted my defense and finding the zone.”
Steven Okert finished with two scoreless innings to close the game for his second save of the season.
“I tip my hat to Gardeck and Okert tonight,” manager Mike Goff said. “Gardeck stepped up. He’s got good stuff. He threw very few sliders tonight; it was almost all fastballs. That was huge for us. For him to give us four tonight, I’m so proud of that kid.”
Starter Brian Johnson allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out six for Greenville (23-25). The polished left-hander out of Florida didn’t issue a walk.
The GreenJackets (30-20) scored their first run in the seventh on an RBI double by Chuckie Jones. They added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI single by Trevor Brown.
Brown went 2 for 4 with one RBI, and Jones added two hits and an RBI. The GreenJackets managed just one other hit.