Series of wacky plays helps Charleston get the best of Augusta in season-opener

Charleston 5, Augusta 1

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Chase Johnson was drafted in the third round in 2013 after working as a reliever in college, but he continues to prove his worth as a starter in each professional outing.

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Augusta's Brandon Bednar follows through on a single during the third inning in Thursday night's season-opener against the Charleston RiverDogs. Bednar had two of the GreenJackets' five hits against starter Rookie Davis.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Augusta's Brandon Bednar follows through on a single during the third inning in Thursday night's season-opener against the Charleston RiverDogs. Bednar had two of the GreenJackets' five hits against starter Rookie Davis.

Johnson cruised through four innings before running into bad luck in the fifth, and the Charleston RiverDogs beat the Augusta GreenJackets 5-1 on Thursday night in the season opener at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

Johnson, who worked exclusively as a reliever at Cal Poly before getting drafted, is being given the opportunity to start in the San Francisco Giants system.

It worked well over 10 starts at short-season Salem Keizer in 2013 and continued through the first outing in Augusta.

“He threw the ball very well,” manager Mike Goff said. “He commanded the strike zone. He was down in the zone. He kept us in the ballgame. I was very pleased with his effort.”

The polished right-hander threw four shutout innings before allowing three runs in the fifth.

Johnson induced nine ground balls and eight swinging strikes, avoiding hard contact with a low-90s fastball, and deceptive curveball and changeup.

Charleston (1-0) broke the scoreless tie in the fifth when three consecutive baserunners eventually led to three runs. The first scored when a throw from the outfield hit a trailing baserunner and bounced away.

The second scored on a wild pitch and the third scored on an RBI double by Abiatal Avelino. Charleston added a fourth run in the sixth on a wild pitch and a fifth in the eighth on an RBI triple by Miguel Andujar.

Augusta (0-1) scored its lone run in the sixth on an error.

RiverDogs starter Rookie Davis threw five scoreless innings on two hits, striking out five.

“We tried to chase him up in the zone a lot,” Goff said. “You can’t chase up in the zone. You can’t make a living with fly balls in this ballpark. It doesn’t carry.”

CHARLESTON 5, AUGUSTA 1

PLAY OF THE GAME: A flyout led to the game’s first run on an error when a throw bounced off a Charleston baserunner and rolled away, making it 1-0 in the fifth.

STAR OF THE GAME: Charleston starter Rookie Davis allowed two hits over five scoreless innings, striking out five.

NEXT: Charleston at Augusta, 7 p.m. today


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