CHARLESTON, SC – Pitching battles have been the norm for the Charleston RiverDogs in 2018 and Thursday night was no different. This time it took extra innings for the Dogs to defeat the Tourists 3-2.
In the top of the third, Asheville got on the board against Dogs starter JP Sears. Sears started the inning off by striking out Robbie Perkins and Steven Linkous. Shael Mendoza then laid down a perfect bunt past Sears to second baseman Wilkerman Garcia who had no chance to get Mendoza at first. Sears then balked Mendoza to second with Matt McLaughlin at the plate. McLaughlin would single to left field to bring Mendoza home for a 1-0 Tourists lead.
The RiverDogs answered back in the bottom of the fourth off Asheville starter Garrett Schilling. Schilling plunked Chris Hess with a pitch to start things off. Schilling then struck out Pablo Olivares and Jason Lopez to bring David Metzgar to the dish. Metzgar lined a ball down the right field line to bring home Hess and tie the game at one.
Schilling would pitch seven innings allowing just three hits and striking out nine. Sears would pitch six innings for Charleston allowing just four hits an striking out seven.
The Tourists would take the lead in the eighth against Dogs reliever Greg Weissert. Weissert walked Ryan Vilade to start things off. He then struck out Robbie Perkins and got Steven Linkous to fly out to center field. Weissert’s defense then began to fail him. Mendoza hit a ground ball to second base, but Garcia could not come up with the ball cleanly and was beaten to second by Vilade for an error. Weissert then fired a wild pitch past catcher Jason Lopez with McLaughlin at the plate allowing Vilade to advance to third. McLaughlin hit a ground ball to short, but Oswaldo Cabrera could not handle the ball and everyone was safe. On the play Vilade scored to put the Tourists ahead 2-1.
The game would remain tied into extra innings. Dogs reliever Chad Martin would work out of trouble when he got Perkins to foul out to the catcher. He then hit Linkous with a pitch to put runners at first and second. Martin then struck out Linkous with a full count and the runners on the run. Catcher Jason Lopez then gunned down Ryan Vilade to end the top of the 10th.
In the bottom of the 10th, Ricardo Ferreira was placed at second to start the inning and the Tourists decided to put leadoff hitter Garcia on at first with an intentional walk. Austin Moore was on the mound and induced Oswaldo Cabrera to hit a chopper to second that snuffed out Garcia at second on a fielder’s choice. With Steven Sensley set to come to the plate, the Tourists elected to put him at first base to load the bases for Chris Hess. With the infield drawn in, Hess lined a single up the middle to plate Ferreira and give the Dogs a 2-1 victory.
Hess would go 3-for-4 on the game scoring one run along with driving in the game winning run.
Harris (L, 0-1) would only pitch a third of an inning for Asheville, allowing the game winning run, which was unearned, on one hit and allowing two walks, both intentional. Martin (W, 2-0) pitched two innings for Charleston to earn the victory allowing just one hit and striking out two.
The Dogs took two-of-three in the series to improve to 13-14 on the season while Ashville drops to 8-17. The Dogs welcome in the Lexington Legends for a four-game set starting Friday night at Joe Riley Park at 7:05.