ASHEVILLE, NC – Austin Aune had four extra-base hits and four RBI as the Charleston RiverDogs bounced back to double up the Asheville Tourists 10-5 Sunday afternoon at McCormick Field. The victory marked just the second one in six games for the RiverDogs in Asheville.
Charleston (30-33) trailed 2-1 after three innings, but went on to score eight unanswered runs en route to the five-run victory. The rally started in the fourth when Vince Conde drew a leadoff walk against Asheville’s (29-34) starter Carlos Polanco.
Aune followed with the first extra-base hit of his day, a triple off the wall in left field, which tied the game. Alex Palma was next and hit a sacrifice fly, which scored Aune, and put the RiverDogs in front for good at 3-2.
A four-run fifth kept the wheels in motion for Charleston. Chris Breen stepped in with two on and one out and laced a double to center, which upped the lead to 4-2 before Aune stepped in again.
The designated hitter hit a line drive down the line in left that Wes Rogers couldn’t track down. It snuck by the left fielder and rolled around the corner and Aune hustled home for a three-run inside-the-park homer and Charleston held the 7-2 lead. Jorge Mateo made it 9-2 with a RBI single in the sixth and another run batted in on a fielder’s choice in the eighth.
Conner Kendrick climbed the hill for Charleston and picked up the win in his South Atlantic League debut. The southpaw went the first five innings, allowed two runs on four hits; he walked a batter, hit a batter and struck out two. The only hiccup in Kendrick’s (1-0) outing was the second where he walked the first batter of the inning, hit the second, and gave up two earned runs in the frame.
Andre Del Bosque pitched two-perfect innings before Dillon McNamara was called upon for the final two frames. Asheville attempted to climb back into the picture and plated three runs against the righty, but couldn’t get closer than 9-5. Breen added to his own big day with a solo homer to left-center in the top of the ninth, capped off the scoring for the R’Dogs and made it 10-5.
Aune’s third hit was a double to the wall in left-center in the seventh, which set the table for his cycle attempt in the ninth. He stepped in as the third hitter of the top of the ninth and hit a line drive to dead center over the head of Max White. He breezed by first and pulled up into second for his second double, thus ending his attempt at a cycle.
The inside-the-park homer for Aune was the third hit by a RiverDogs’ player this year as he joins Brandon Thomas and Jorge Mateo as the other players to do so. The four hits is a new career-high and the four RBI tie a career-high for the Argyle, Texas native.
BOX SCORE: http://atmilb.com/1BcjveF
COMING UP: The RiverDogs return to McCormick Field and wrap up the series, and road trip, against the Tourists Monday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Matt Wotherspoon (0-0, 3.48) toes the slab for Charleston against RHP Sam Howard (2-6, 3.86) of the Tourists. You can catch the game on 1250 WTMA “The Big Talker”, WTMA.com, and RiverDogs.com.
The RiverDogs return home for the final homestand of the first half on Tuesday, June 16. It will be a six-gamer against the West Virginia Power (Pirates affiliate) and the Asheville Tourists (Rockies affiliate). Tickets are available by calling 843/577-DOGS and by visiting RiverDogs.com.