Originally created 05/24/04

Jackets ground Gnats

Augusta made three errors and gave up seven runs against the Savannah Sand Gnats on Sunday ... and won.

The main reason: Savannah was even worse in the field. The Sand Gnats made four errors that led to nine unearned runs, and the GreenJackets added four earned runs for a 13-7 win in front of 1,539 fans at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

"Well, it wasn't one of your prettiest games, but obviously we came out with a W," Augusta manager Chad Epperson said. "We did a lot of things bad in that game, a lot of things bad. Fortunately we were able to come out on top. They just made more mistakes than we did."

Augusta (18-25) was able to tie Savannah and Asheville for fourth in the Southern Division with its third win in a row. The win assures the GreenJackets at least a split with the Sand Gnats for the series, which wraps up with two games in Savannah.

Nine pitchers combined to give up 20 runs on 23 hits and seven errors in a game that required two hours to get through five innings. The final four innings took only 45 minutes. The seventh and eighth innings were the scoreless frames on a hot and humid afternoon.

"It was hot. It wore me out definitely," Augusta outfielder Brandon Moss said. "It felt like the bat was swinging me today."

The bat wasn't swinging Moss very well. He and Ignacio Suarez were the only GreenJackets without a hit. But it was a rare 0-for-4 performance for Moss, who led the league in batting until Saturday's game, and is still batting .360.

Dirimo Chavez and Salvador Paniagua were two of the players who made up for Moss' rare off day. Chavez went 3-for-5 with three RBI, all on a bases-clearing double. Paniagua went 1-for-3 with three RBI and two runs.

The game was a toss up through the first four innings, but an error cost the Sand Gnats six runs in the fifth. The decisive error came with the bases loaded.

Savannah reliever Nick Long's wild pitch scored Chavez from third. Catcher Salomon Manriquez's throw was way off to Long covering home, allowing Moss to score from second. Long retired the next two batters before Augusta added five more runs.

Long (2-6) got the loss after giving up seven runs on three hits and four walks in 1w innings. Cory Willey (1-0) entered the game in the fifth and threw three no-hit innings for the win.

Beau Vaughan made his first appearance since joining the GreenJackets from Florida on Saturday. Vaughan started and was limited to three innings. He gave up three runs on five hits and struck out seven.


STAR OF THE GAME: Augusta's Dirimo Chavez went 3-for-5 with three RBI, all on a bases-clearing double to cap the seven-run fifth.

KEY PLAY: Savannah catcher Salomon Manriquez's errant throw to the plate on a wild pitch cost the Sand Gnats six unearned runs.

NEXT GAME: GreenJackets at Sand Gnats, 7:05 p.m.

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


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