Coach Doug Jefferson breathed a sigh of relief after the Orioles finished the second game of their home baseball doubleheader Friday night against Circle.
He was happy the Orioles’ offense finally got on a roll, and early in a game. Augusta scored four runs in the second inning and went on to beat Circle 9-1 in the nightcap.?The win salvaged a split with the Thunderbirds, who won the first game 11-5.
“Finally, that’s what I thought,” Jefferson said with a smile about the team’s offense.
The nine runs were a season high for Augusta, and the four-run inning was one of the most productive of the season.
Chase Winter led off that second inning with a single. He stole second, then reached third on a passed ball. Kolton Schenker and Connor Hurst later drew walks to load the bases with two outs. That’s when Dalton Wheat came up with an opposite-field liner to left-center to drive in two runs.
“He just threw it outside and he was spotting up. I knew that he was going to. I?was expecting it,” Wheat said.
Hurst later scored on a wild pitch, as did Wheat after he worked around the bases.
Wheat finished the day with three runs scored, two hits and a walk. Tyler Bond, who was 2-for-3 with a run scored in Game 1, had just one hit in the nightcap, but it was a 2-RBI?double in the sixth.
It wasn’t that any batter had a monster day at the plate, but throughout the Orioles’ lineup, everyone contributed.
“Your bats always get better throughout the year because you get to see more pitchers. You get more relaxed as the season goes on,” Wheat said. “Hopefully we keep getting better.”
Augusta’s strong finish was a far cry from its bad start. In Game 1, Circle jumped out to a 5-0 lead and added five more runs in the fifth.  
“We were bad. We were not ready to play baseball. That’s about all there was to it,” Jefferson said. “Pitching-wise, hitting-wise, anything. We weren’t ready.”
The Orioles connected on offense late in the game, but it was too little, too late. Joe Cannady had two singles and a run. Winter added a triple.
“You have to have a short memory in baseball,”?Jefferson said. “You can’t dwell on that. It’s over with. Let’s come out (in the second game), let’s  get off to a good start, and fortunately we did that, both pitching-wise and at the plate. We just rolled with that the rest of the game.”
Augusta’s record moves to 4-6 as the team faces a critical stretch of the season next week with home games against league foes Buhler Monday and Mulvane Thursday.