SRP PARK (Augusta, GA) – The Lexington Legends kicked off their first road trip of 2018 with a victory over the Augusta GreenJackets on their Opening Night and inaugural game at their brand-new facility, SRP Park. A four-run, seventh inning helped to propel the Legends in the 6-5 victory.
Augusta struck first in the second inning when they plated the first run in SRP Park. Ryan Kirby reached on a double to left field then Jacob Gonzalez followed that up with an RBI double to right, scoring Kirby and Augusta led 1-0. Manuel Geraldo hit the first home run in their new ballpark in the fourth. Geraldo smacked a solo shot to left field, extending the GreenJackets’ lead to 2-0.
The Legends struck first in the fifth inning. Seuly Matias reached on a leadoff walk but was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice when MJ Melendez hit a grounder to third base. Melendez advanced to second on a wild pitch by John Gavin. Jeison Guzman then grounded to the second baseman, Orlando Garcia who recorded the force out at second. Melendez scored on the play, but the Legends still trailed 2-1.
The GreenJackets tried to pull away from the Legends in the bottom of the fifth. Heliot Ramos reached on a leadoff single then advanced to second on an error by the catcher Melendez, and went to third on a stolen base. Jacob Gonzalez lined an RBI double to left field, allowing Kirby to score and extending Augusta’s lead, 3-1. With Jeffry Para at the plate, Sal Biasi balked, giving a free base to both runners, allowing the final run of the inning to score, and the GreenJackets led 5-1.
In the sixth, the Legends began to chip away at Augusta’s lead. Travis Jones reached base when he was hit by a pitch. He scored on an RBI single to centerfield by Nick Pratto, and the Legends trailed 5-2.
The Legends made things interesting in the seventh. Back-to-back singles by Jeison Guzman and Ricky Aracena and a walk by Marten Gasparini loaded the bases with no outs. Nick Pratto then lined a pitch to right field, a two-run single, moving Gasparini to third. Pratto then swiped second, to put two runners in scoring position. With two runners on, one out and the Legends down by one, a wild pitch by Camilo Doval moved Pratto to third and allowed Gasparini to score, tying the game at five. The Legends took the lead when Pratto scored on a throwing error by the pitcher, CJ Gettman. After five innings, Lexington led 6-5, a lead they were able to hold on to for the rest of the game.
Holden Capps pitched 3.1 innings in his second start for the Legends. He allowed two runs on five hits while striking out seven. He did not walk a batter. Sal Biasi earned the win for the Legends, pitching 1.1 innings in relief, not allowing a run while walking three and striking out one. Janser Lara made his 2018 debut for the Legends, tossing 1.2 hitless innings while walking one and striking out two.
The same two teams face off tomorrow night at SRP Park in Augusta at 7:05 p.m. The Legends will send RHP Collin Snider 1-0, 1.50 ERA to face Augusta’s RHP Jose Marte 0-0, 12.57 ERA.