A minor league baseball game at Lake Olmstead Stadium turned into a magic show Sunday afternoon with Augusta GreenJackets starter Kyle Crick taking center stage.
The 49th overall pick in last year’s draft wiggled out of jam after jam, and his bullpen matched the effort in a 2-0 win over the Hagerstown Suns that had Augusta manager Lipso Nava scrambling for relief after the game.
“I need a blood pressure pill,” Nava said. “But in a good way. It’s a challenge every day. We’re dealing with young kids and trying to develop them, but they will learn.”
Crick allowed the first two batters to reach base in each of the first three innings, but managed to escape with no damage each time.
He struck out two batters with a runner in scoring position to get out of the first, added two more strikeouts and a fly ball to leave two more runners stranded in the second and struck out three in a row to negate two walks in the third.
The 19-year-old right-hander was pulled after needing 78 pitches to get through four innings, but he left with a two-hit shutout intact thanks to eight strikeouts that stranded six runners.
“Sometimes you’ve got to battle out of it,” Crick said. “I try not to think about it or anything else. I just focus on that glove.”
Reliever Derek Law (1-0) allowed just one hit over three scoreless innings, but Scotty Walker nearly blew the two-run lead by walking the bases loaded in the eighth. Kevin Couture came on and got a ground ball from Brett Newsome to get out of the jam and preserve the shutout.
Cody Hall pitched a scoreless ninth for his league-leading fifth save.
Augusta’s bats, which were held to a lone run on three hits in a series-opening loss Saturday night, improved just enough Sunday. Ben Thomas led off the fourth with a single, and Jose Cuevas followed with a double down the left field line.
After a Brett Krill strikeout, Eric Sim and Carlos Willoughby provided back-to-back groundball singles to give Augusta (10-12) the only run production of the game.