GreenJackets prevail in pitchers' duel

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Two of the best pitching performances of the season took place Wednesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

Only one pitcher was rewarded with the win.

GreenJackets starter Daryl Maday outdueled Savannah Sand Gnats starter Mike Antonini in a 2-1 win.

"I'm sure they're feeling a little snake-bitten after tonight," GreenJackets manager Andy Skeels said of the Sand Gnats. "They've had two good starts the last two nights. Their guy tonight, he was outstanding."

Both pitchers dominated through five scoreless innings and had eight strikeouts apiece.

They also faltered in the sixth inning. Maday loaded the bases with one out and surrendered the game's first run on a sacrifice fly by Craig Casey in the top of the inning.

Antonini gave up two runs in the bottom half after walking Nick Noonan to lead off the inning. Noonan stole second and third, then came home to score when catcher Francisco Pena's throw to third sailed into left field.

GreenJackets designated hitter Angel Villalona drove in Thomas Neal two batters later with an RBI single that proved to be the game-winner.

The rest of the game was left up to the GreenJackets bullpen, which didn't disappoint.

Daniel Turpen and Andrew De La Garza got Augusta through the seventh and eighth innings on one hit without giving up a run.

That allowed closer Daniel Otero to come in and pitch a shutout ninth for his eighth save in his past eight appearances. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander struck out the final two batters for his team-leading 11th save of the season. In 17 appearances this year, Otero has yet to give up a run.

"I have a lot of confidence in Dan," Maday said. "He just throws the ball over the plate and gets guys out."

The GreenJackets improved to 27-19 overall and 12-12 at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

Savannah (18-28) has lost six games in a row.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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