GreenJackets notch first home victory of season

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Augusta GreenJackets' fans had to wait eight games to witness a victory at Lake Olmstead Stadium, but an announced crowd of 4,340 fans saw a team in search of hitting find plenty of it Thursday night in an 8-7 victory over the Charleston RiverDogs.

Losers of their past seven, the Green-Jackets entered the game ranked last in the South Atlantic League in runs scored and second-to-last with a .207 batting average.

But Augusta tagged three Charleston pitchers for eight runs and a season-high 13 hits. Only one GreenJackets starter, Mike Loberg, failed to reach base safely at least twice during the game, but it was Loberg's RBI sacrifice fly in the eighth that drove in what proved to be the game-winning run.

"We're so happy to get a win. It's been tough to swallow losses night in and night out," GreenJackets leadoff man Dom Duggan said. "But you've got to be proud of the guys playing through all this. We're a lot better than a 2-11 team right now."

The GreenJackets, who improved to 3-11, appeared ready to cruise to their first home victory with a 4-0 lead through four innings. But the RiverDogs scored five times in the fifth off starter Ari Ronick and erased another one-run lead in the seventh with a leadoff homer from Dan Brewer.

"We could have quit," GreenJackets manager Dave Machemer said. "It would have been very easy to quit right there."

Augusta responded with two runs in the eighth. Ehire Adrianza scored on an error by third baseman Mike Lyon, and Loberg's sacrifice scored Duggan.

Charleston got a run back in the ninth, but Daniel Runzler came in with one out and struck out the only two batters he faced to get the save. Andrew Reichard (1-1) got the win after pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Charleston reliever Casey Erickson (1-1) took the loss.

Duggan led the GreenJackets, going 3-for-4, and Johnny Monell, who sparked a three-run second inning with a home run, went 3-for-5.

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


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