Originally created 05/04/04

GreenJackets get split



When Brandon Moss crushed Gerald Plexico's sixth-inning pitch to the wall in center, he was thinking triple all the way.

Then he looked up and saw Peter Ciofrone and Dirimo Chavez stacked up between second and third, waiting to see if the ball would be caught.

"I wanted (the triple) and I was going to go for it, too," Moss said.

But the outfielder thought better of it and settled for a double, leaving him a triple shy of the cycle. Ciofrone and Chavez went on to score as the GreenJackets beat Savannah, 8-5, in the second game of a Monday doubleheader at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

The Sand Gnats (13-12) took the first game 12-3 in a continuation of Sunday's rain-delayed game.

Moss led the way at the plate for Augusta (7-17) in Game 2. He extended his hit streak to 13 games with a 4-for-4 performance. He had four RBI, scored three runs, hit his third homer and chalked up two doubles.

After the game, Moss joked about what sparked his night at the plate.

"Corked bats and steroids," he said. "That's it."

The GreenJackets needed Moss in the first game. They squeaked out five hits and saw their pitchers lit up for 12 runs on 17 hits. If manager Chad Epperson has his way, Moss won't leave the lineup.

"Plant a seed in your head," Epperson told Moss along a stop at third base, "No more nights off for you."

The GreenJackets have proven they need him in the lineup. He's batting .386 with 18 RBI.

He gave Augusta a 2-0 lead in the first with a homer to dead center field. The Sand Gnats turned Augusta's 3-0 lead into a 5-3 lead of their own in the third, but Moss scored the go-ahead run in the fifth by legging out a single.

His two-run double in the sixth gave Argimiro Guanchez some breathing room and in the seventh Guanchez picked up his fourth save. Kevin Ool (1-2) got his first win of the year after striking out seven in 3Q shutout innings.

Plexico, who won the first game of the series, got his first loss of the season.

Gary Galvez, who'd been the GreenJackets' ace, took the loss in the opener. Jarrett Gardner started Sunday's game and Galvez entered with a 2-2 count on Josh Whitesell with two outs in the second inning.

Whitesell wasted no time taking advantage of a wind blowing hard to straightaway center field, and hit the second pitch he saw to dead center. Edgardo Baez hit a three-run shot in the Sand Gnats' seven-run fifth inning to cinch it.

Galvez (1-2) lasted 2w innings after giving up nine runs. He'd given up just seven runs in 26 innings before Monday's blowup.

"He just didn't have his best stuff," Epperson said. "You won't see that too many times, I promise you that."

Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3219 or kristy.shonka@augustachronicle.com

STAR OF THE GAME: Edgardo Baez went 2-for-6 with four RBI and two runs for the Sand Gnats. He hit a three-run homer and had a double.

KEY PLAY: The Sand Gnats seven-run inning fifth inning was more than enough offense for their pitching staff against Augusta's hitters.

TONIGHT'S GAME: Sand Gnats at GreenJackets, 7:15 p.m.