The Augusta GreenJackets took game one of the best-of-three SAL Southern Division with a four batter sequence in the bottom of the seventh. Reliever LHP Chase Huchingson came in to protect a 1-0 in the seventh and looked great in retiring the first two batters he faced on a strikeout and a flyball. Then, with three straight lefties and two outs and the bases empty, he walked the first two and gave up a bouncing ball single up the middle that tied up the game. Facing the GreenJackets' Adam Duvall, who finished third in the SAL in slugging, he gave up a game changing three-run home run on a pitch that I called as a curveball live.
Sure, Huchingson had a bad inning.
However, the Gnats' bats did not really do enough to win a game either. The team put just eight men on base all night via six hits and two walks. Five of the six hits were singles, and the sixth should have been one too, but for an ill-advised dive from the GreenJackets' leftfielder, Raymer Campbell. Leading off the fifth, Gnats' 1B Joe Bonfe lined a ball to sharply to left. Campbell, who's spent more time in the infield than outfield this year, had no chance to catch it, but he dove anyway, turning what should have been a single turned into a triple as the ball rolled by him to the warning track. Bonfe scored the Gnats' only run of the night when Aderlin Rodriguez grounded out to third.
Angel Cuan held the 'Jackets off the scoreboard through six innings despite giving up six hits and working around two runners on base in three different innings. He throws so many strikes that he allows, nay forces, a-ball hitters to get themselves out. His line: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.
Facing elimination, Friday at home, the Gnats will send the guy who won the SAL ERA title, RHP Taylor Whitenton (5-5, 2.49) against the guy who finished second RHP Shawn Sanford (10-10, 2.55).
Here's my call on the game-changing homer: