After opening the season with 12 straight wins, the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants) fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, losing to the Columbus Catfish tonight, 5-1.
Augusta got on the board first in the top of the 3rd. 2B Marcus Sanders singled to center, then moved to second on LF Tyler Graham's single.s on a ground ball to center fielder Desmond Jennings. Marcus Sanders to 2nd. With one out, Sanders and Graham executed a double steal. Sanders then scored when 1B Brett Pill hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Catfish came back in the bottom of the inning. With one out, CF Desmond Jennings singled, and moved to third on a ball four passed ball that put RF Maiko Loyola on first. 3B Cesar Suarez doubled, driving in Jennings. DH Nevin Ashley sacrificed Loyola home, but the inning ended when Suarez was tagged out at second.
Augusta threatened in the 4th and 6th innings, putting runners in scoring position, but were unable to convert.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Catfish padded their lead, knocking Augusta starter Daniel Griffin from the game. Loyola led the inning with a short double that Augusta SS Brian Bocock couldn't handle. Suarez was hit by a pitch. Loyola scored on Ashley's double to center. That's when Griffin was lifted for reliever Benjamin Snyder. LF Quinn Stewart singled, bringing home Suarez. 2B Brett Grandstrand sacrificed Ashley home on a bunt to the pitcher.
Augusta put a runner on 3rd in the 7th, but again couldn't convert. Catfish reliever Brian Baker set down Augusta in the 8th, and Ryan Owen got three straight ground ball outs in the 9th to secure the win.
Griffin fell to 2-1 with the loss. Catfish starter Ryan Morse improved to 2-0, striking out 3 and walking 2 in 6 innings work, and now has an even 1.0 ERA.
The Catfish managed to strand 8 Greenjackets, 5 in scoring position.
Augusta drops to 12-1, with a 4-game lead. The Catfish are in 4rd place, a game out of second.
The 4-game series continues Wednesday night.