Bullpen's shutout effort saves GreenJackets

Augusta beats Hickory 6-5

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Despite falling behind 4-0 before his team even got a chance to bat, Augusta GreenJackets pitcher Justin Schumer knew he was ready for an extended relief appearance and his team was poised for a comeback.

"My changeup has always been my best pitch, but it's been a little inconsistent this year," he said. "It was working tonight and after my first inning I told (catcher) Jeff Arnold, if it's not broke don't fix it. Let's stay with it. I worked it in the whole game just as much as I did my fastball and they couldn't make adjustments on it."

Schumer stopped the bleeding and led the charge in the bullpen's eight shutout innings in a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Hickory Crawdads.

Starter Taylor Rogers suffered his worst outing of the season, giving up five hits and a walk to the game's first six batters. He allowed five earned runs before he was pulled in the second after the leadoff batter lined a shot back to the mound that hit Rogers in the forearm.

"It wasn't pretty," manager Lipso Nava said. "But the guys competed and the bullpen did their job."

Schumer gave up a single to the first batter he faced but retired 12 of the next 13 batters in a scoreless effort that allowed the GreenJackets to work their way back into the game.

Josh Mazzola started the comeback with his 10th homer of the season and first at Lake Olmstead Stadium. The two-run blast came in the bottom of the first and extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.

Raynor Campbell drove in a run in the fourth and consecutive hits from Bobby Haney, Carlos Willoughby and Chris Lofton to lead off the fifth produced two more runs.

Lofton, who went 3 for 4 with two doubles, broke a tie game with a one-out double in the seventh.

"That was the at bat of the game right there," Nava said. "We got the timely hitting when we needed it."

Mario Rodriguez (4-5) retired all four batters he faced to get the win, while Seth Rosin threw a scoreless eighth.

Brett Bochy, the GreenJackets' closer since Stephen Harrold was promoted, got his second save with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth.

"We felt good as a bullpen tonight," Rosin said. "(Shawn) Sanford's eight innings last night really helped, because we were all well rested and ready."

Hickory starter Cody Buckel, the Texas Rangers' 2010 second round pick, blew a four-run lead by giving up five earned runs on eight hits and a walk over four innings.

Reliever Ben Rowell (2-4) gave up the seventh-inning double to Lofton to take the loss.

An announced crowd of 4,114 saw the GreenJackets (19-15, 50-54) claim their eighth win in their last nine home games and keep pace with first-place Savannah in the South Atlantic League's Southern Division standings. Augusta will go into Sunday's series finale 2.5 games behind the Sand Gnats.


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