Originally created 06/27/04

GreenJacket's notebook



Whether it's the rain or the humidity, the weather in Augusta is a change for Augusta GreenJackets starter Beau Vaughan - an Arizona native.

The rain that fell at Lake Olmstead Stadium during the GreenJackets' most recent homestand was enough for Vaughan to call home about.

"This is more rain in one night than I think I've seen in my 22 years of living (in Arizona)," he said during a rain delay Wednesday night. "This is amazing. I've got to call my mom. She loves the rain."

Vaughan saw plenty of rain during the GreenJackets' three-game homestand this past week, which had two games postponed by rain. He's also played through his share of humid games while traveling throughout the South Atlantic League.

He'd much prefer the dry heat he's used to in Arizona.

"This, I go out and throw five warm-up pitches and I'm just coated in sweat," Vaughan said of the humidity.

"Back home if I do that, there's not really much sweat, I'm just a nice golden brown because I'm cooking so fast. It's different to get adjusted to."

The humidity hasn't seemed to affect the right-hander much since he joined the GreenJackets from extended spring training.

Vaughan is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in seven games. He's struck out 38 in 36Q innings. His ERA would be good enough for 12th in the SAL if he'd thrown enough innings.

KEY TO SUCCESS: Former USC Aiken and Greenbrier player Bradley Key scored the winning run in the Billings (Mont.) Mustangs' season-opener June 18.

Key was a 48th-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in this year's draft. The Mustangs are the Reds' short-season Class A team. The third baseman was batting .250 through the first five games of the season.

SEASON FIRST: Another former Greenbrier player, J.J. Johnson, hit his first home run of the season Tuesday for the Daytona Cubs.

Johnson's three-run homer started a 3-for-4, four RBI night for the right fielder. The Cubs beat the Sarasota Red Sox in high Class A action 8-2 to open the second half of the season.

The Cubs won the Florida State League's East Division for the first half, guaranteeing them a spot in the postseason.

FIRST-HALF CHAMPS: Seven leagues crowned their first half division champions in the past week. Here's a rundown of the winners, who automatically earn postseason berths.

  • Tennessee (East) and Mobile (West) from the Double-A Southern League.
  • Tulsa (East) and Round Rock (West) from the Double-A Texas League.
  • Modesto (North) and Lancaster (South) from the high Class A California League.
  • Potomac (North) and Kinston (South) from the high Class A Carolina League.
  • Daytona (East) and Dunedin (West) from the high Class A Florida State League.
  • South Bend (East) and Kane County (West) won the low Class A Midwest League, while Lansing and Cedar Rapids earn berths as wild cards.
  • Charleston, W.Va., (North) and Capital City (South) from the low Class A South Atlantic League.
  • Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or kristy.shonka@augustachronicle.com.