By Carlos Rodriguez |
The Augusta University baseball team hosted its final series of the season against Lynn University on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, at Jaguar Field. The Jaguars closed out their season by losing both games of the doubleheader on Saturday and the single game Sunday.
AU celebrated Senior Day on Sunday, recognizing seniors Christian Griffin, Aron Chick, Zack Goble, Tony Jones, Chase Slone, Harrison Moore, Patrick Watson and Devin Bilardello.
“I’ve met a lot of good friends, played a lot of good friends,” said center fielder Bilardello, who transferred to AU in his junior year and went 2-for-4 in the 6-3 loss to Lynn on Sunday. “Overall, it’s been a pretty good experience.”
In the first game of the series, the Jags battled hard but came up short 13-12. In the loss, AU junior Jose Nogueras went 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBI, and sophomore Carrington Evans went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer. On the mound, Chick struck out seven batters in six and two-thirds innings. He was followed by freshman Tripp Church, Goble and Jones.
In game two of the series, the Knights (19-26) won 8-3. The visitors got on board in the first inning off a two-run homer by Alejandro Martinez. Lynn would go on to score four more runs in the fifth inning, three of those coming on a homer by Tom Archer.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Jags got on board off a home run from Watson. Lynn would strike again in the sixth with a two-run shot by James Buckley. In the bottom of the sixth, Watson singled to center to drive in two runs, but Lynn would go on to win by five runs.
Watson finished 2-for-4 with three RBI while sophomore Skylor Murphy went 2-for-3. Slone started for the Jags and struck out seven in four and two-thirds innings. Freshmen Chase Horton and Alex Colon pitched the rest of the way. Colon tossed one scoreless inning.
The highlight in Sunday’s finale was the pitching of Griffin, who would come into relieve in the top of the fifth and struck out the first batter he faced. Griffin would go on to strike out the side in the sixth. He finished with six strikeouts and only allowed two runs in three innings.
“I felt good,” Griffin said. “I felt like I had my breaking ball working,” about his performance on the mound.
In the bottom of the sixth, with two outs, the Jags got three straight hits. They came from sophomore Trent Maddox with a double, Nogueras with a single and Ben Markiewicz, who singled and drove in Maddox to cut the lead to 3-2.
Lynn would go on to score two runs in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Bilardello doubled and scored after a single from sophomore Mason Robertson.
Lynn scored once more and hung on to win 6-3.
Bilardello went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases, and Markiewicz finished 2-for-4 with two RBI.
“Coach (Chris Howell) and I have been working on stuff in the cages and the field this last week trying to finish strong. Fortunately those things came through,” said Markiewicz on his performance.
Despite the losses, Howell saw some positives in the weekend’s three games.
“We continued to swing it well all weekend,” Howell said. “The most important thing Sunday is we put ourselves in several situations throughout the ballgame to win it.”
The team loses eight seniors this year, and Howell is recruiting new players to come in and be ready next season.
“We got an exciting bunch coming in that are hopefully locked in to what we’re trying to do here,” Howell said.
The Jags finished the season off 18-31 overall; they were 13-15 at home. AU went 15-33 in 2018.