Originally created 08/15/98

Bombers extend Jackets streak



It's one of those things that no baseball player from the T-ball leagues all the way up to the big leagues has an answer to.

And when it's in your favor, you don't ask questions, you just let it happen. But when it's not in your favor, you try anything and everything to solve it.

It's the almighty S-T-R-E-A-K, and right now it has the Augusta GreenJackets all wrapped up, from the head down to the toes. Friday night's contest at Lake Olmstead Stadium between the Jackets and the Capital City Bombers was the latest series in the Sally League soap operas as the Bombers topped Augusta 4-1.

The Jackets managed just one run on five hits and dropped their ninth straight contest and 17th in their last 19 games. Just 27 days ago, the Jackets had the best record in league at 18-12 in the second half of the season and led the Southern Division over the Macon Braves by four games in the standings.

But times have certainly changed. Currently, the Jackets have the second worst record (25-31) in the league, trailed only by Charleston, W. Va. (17-37).

"We just had some bad luck tonight, I mean we hit some balls hard, but they were right at people," said leftfielder Derrick Lankford, whose single in sixth inning scored the GreenJackets' only run of the contest.

"I thought we played some pretty good defense and got some really good pitching. We just couldn't catch a break."

It didn't take long for the Bombers to lower the boom on the Jackets Friday. In the third inning, starter Andy Bausher allowed back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases for Maurice Bruce. Bruce promptly lined a double into the left field corner, clearing the bases and giving Capital City a 3-0 lead.

Bausher, coming off a 2-1 loss to Columbus on Sunday and absorbing a hard luck loss after allowing just two runs on two hits, was stuck with another tough loss on Friday night. The left-hander allowed just three earned runs on five hits in five innings.

As a matter of fact, Bausher and relievers Wilson Guzman and O.J. Cook all pitched well, but received no offensive support.

"I hope our fans don't give up on us," Lankford said. "We do have a great ballclub and we've had a lot of changes in the last month. As everybody knows you've got to have good chemistry and I think we're starting to get more chemistry. We've got to keep our heads up and keep believing in ourselves."

The Bombers again added another run in the fourth to make it 4-0 on Juan Moreno's RBI single.

Augusta finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Victor Gutierrez drew a leadoff walk to start the inning and stole second before Lankford's RBI single scored Gutierrez from second.

"(Pitching coach) Scott (Lovekamp) and I talked about this situation," said manager Marty Brown. "I could yell and scream at the team and tear up the room, but it's not a matter of motivating the team. They're trying hard (to get out of slump) and sometimes they even try too hard.

"I don't try to harp too much on us losing 17 of our last 19 games. They know about it (slump) as much as we do."