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Charleston RiverDogs pitcher Nick Nelson before a game against the Lakewood BlueClaws in Lakewood, NJ on July 17, 2017 (Martin Griff)

Augusta Pitches Way Past Charleston 3-1

Augusta pitched their way past the Charleston RiverDogs 3-1 Sunday at Joe Riley Park. The RiverDogs only manged four hits the entire game.

In the second inning, Jose Vizcaino Jr. doubled deep to the wall in left-center field to lead off the inning against Dogs starter Nick Nelson. Sandro Fabian knocked a single to right field to bring Vizcaino home for a 1-0 Jackets lead.

Skyler Ewing led off the fourth inning against Nelson (L, 2-11) by hitting a home run to left-center field to give the Jackets a 2-0 lead.

The RiverDogs scored their only run in the bottom half of the fourth. Diego Castillo doubled to right field to lead off the inning off of Jackets starter Yordy Cabrera (W, 1-2). During Oswaldo Cabrera‘s at-bat, Castillo would advance to second on a passed ball. Cabrera would walk to bring up Brandon Wagner. Wagner would fly out to center field to bring home Castillo. Steven Sensley would rip a ball into the right center field gap, but Johneshwy Fargas tracked it down and doubled off Cabrera at first to end the threat.

In the fifth, the Jackets would tack on another run against Nelson. With two outs, Jena Angomas doubled to right field and was chased home when Skyler Ewing doubled to the wall in right-center field to give the Jackets a 3-1 lead. Ewing went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and a home run.

“Even though (Nelson) does have a good fastball, he becomes one dimensional and the opposing hitters don’t respect his offspeed stuff. They’re able to make good contact, so he still has to be able to command his pitches,” RiverDogs manager Patrick Osborn said. Nelson would pitch four and two-thirds innings allowing three runs, all earned, walking three and striking out three.

The RiverDogs wouldn’t mount a serious threat the rest of the game. The RiverDogs went hitless from the fifth inning until the ninth inning when Oswaldo Cabrera, who went 2-for4 on the game, blooped a single to right field to lead off. He wouldn’t advance past first in the ninth as Patrick Ruotolo shut the door in the ninth for his sixteenth save of the season. “We just didn’t hit, bottom line. We pitched pretty well, didn’t get anything to fall,” Osborn said.

Phillip Diehl pitched the final four and one-thirds innings for Charleston without allowing a run and giving up four hits.

With the loss, the RiverDogs drop to 68-56 overall and 35-20 on the second half. The GreenJackets improve to 47-73 overall and 24-31 in the second half. The Rome Braves and Columbia Fireflies were knotted in the 10th inning of their ballgame, so for the time being, the magic number remains at 10 for the RiverDogs.

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