Esposito records four hits and scores game winner
Salisbury, Md. – The Delmarva Shorebirds (18-27) topped the Augusta GreenJackets (22-24) 6-5 in thrilling fashion at Arthur W. Perdue stadium on Thursday night.
Augusta hoped on top in the second inning. Joe Staley and Garrett Buechele got aboard via a single and double respectively. Staley came across the plate on a RBI groundout to first by Myles Schroder.
They put another run on the board on the bat and legs of Shawn Payne. He knocked a one out triple into the left field corner. He then scored on a wild pitch to put the GreenJackets up 2-0.
Augusta scored for the third straight inning in the top of the fourth. Brett Krill led off with a single to left but advanced to second after Mikey Planeta’s error. He later scored on another wild pitch by Delmarva starter Parker Bridwell.
Delmarva came back in the bottom of the fourth with two runs of their own. Mikey Planeta led off with a single and was followed by a walk from Wynston Sawyer. Jason Esposito plated Planeta on a single up the middle. Esposito then came in to score on a bases loaded balk from Augusta starter Bryce Bandilla that made it a 3-2 ballgame.
Delmarva took the lead for the first time in the home half of the fifth. Michael Ohlman, Mikey Planeta and Wynston Sawyer all reached to lead off the inning. Jason Esposito provided his second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Ohlman. Mychal Givens knocked a single to put the ‘Birds up 4-3. They increased their lead to 5-3 after back-to-back hit by pitches by Augusta’s Demontre Arnold. The benches cleared, but no ejections were delivered.
The GreenJackets came back and tied the game in the top of the eighth after a leadoff single by Shawn Payne. He then stole second and third and was knocked in by Jose Flores’ single into left field. Following a sacrifice bunt by Brett Krill to advance Flores to third, first baseman Garrett Buechele hit a deep sacrifice fly to left center that plated Jose Flores.
After Augusta squandered their opportunity in the top half of the ninth, Esposito led off the home half of the ninth with a single to left, his fourth hit of the game. Following a Mychal Givens pop up bunt to first, Roderick Bernadina hustled out a ground ball to third and reached on an error, which allowed Esposito to advance to third. Glynn Davis then struck out, but with a passed ball and catcher Joe Staley throwing down to first, it allowed Esposito to come home to score the winning run for Delmarva.
Delmarva starter Parker Bridwell went five innings and gave up two earned runs on four hits and three walks. He also struck out five batters as well.
Alex Schmarzo came out of the bullpen for the ‘Birds and gave up two earned runs on three hits and two strikeouts over two innings.
Shorebirds reliever Gene Escat picked up the victory for Delmarva pitching two innings of relief and only yielding one hit. He walked one batter and also struck out one.
The starting pitcher for Augusta was Bryce Bandilla went four innings and gave up one earned run on five hits and five walks. He also struck out two.
Andrew Berger pitched only a third of an inning of relief, giving up three runs after walking two and giving up two hits.
Augusta reliever Demondre Arnold, who sparked the benches clearing after his second hit batsmen, delivered two and a third innings of scoreless relief. He gave up three hits and struck out two.
The next game for Delmarva will be Friday, August 10 at Arthur W. Perdue stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. The starting pitcher for the Shorebirds will be Zach Davies (4-3, 3.96).