Cortes commanded the strike zone with 12 strikeouts through six innings
CHARLESTON, SC – Nestor Cortes continued his dominant success by throwing another stellar game as the lefty recorded a career high 12 strikeouts through 6.0 innings, as the Charleston RiverDogs defeated the Columbia Fireflies, 1-0, Friday night in front of 4,281 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Cortes (2-0) was electric all night, keeping Columbia hitters off balance. Cortes carried a no-hitter into the top of the sixth inning before Jose Garcia led off with a single to left field. With one out, Kevin Kaczmarski also singled putting runners on first and second. Cortes fought back with two fly outs to end the threat.
The Hialeah, FL native, Cortes, recorded his second quality start of the season, tying his season-high innings pitched, throwing six dominant innings with just two hits given up, a walk, and a career-high 12 strikeouts.
Charleston got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning as the RiverDogs struck with a lone run off of Columbia’s starter Kevin Canelon (2-3). Kyle Holder led the inning off with a ground rule double to right-center field. After a groundout moved Holder to third, Jeff Hendrix drew a walk, and Leonardo Molina roped an RBI single into left field to take the 1-0 lead.
RiverDogs pitching was in full gear to keep the Fireflies at bay, holding their offense to four hits. Second base was as far as Cortes and company would allow their opponents to advance.
Willie Gabay entered in the top of the seventh inning and toed the rubber for two innings, warranting a hold, giving up just two hits and two strikeouts. Andrew Schwaab entered the ninth and picked up his seventh save of the season.
Charleston (25-14) remains atop the South Atlantic League Southern Division with the game one victory over Columbia.
The Charleston RiverDogs honored the armed forces in a Military Appreciation Night as each branch of service was recognized throughout the game and the RiverDogs wore their red jerseys in honor of the military.
The RiverDogs will be back Friday night for the second contest against the Columbia Fireflies in a four game series. The RiverDogs will send RHP Simon De la Rosa (1-2, 5.14) while the Fireflies will counter with RHP Tyler Badamo (1-3, 3.79). It will be a Red Shirt Friday with another spectacular Home Telecom postgame fireworks show. The RiverDogs will wear specialty red uniforms to honor our military as part of ISHPI Red Shirt Fridays presented by Mix 96. Fans that wear red to the game get $1 off their ticket purchase at the gate with the option to donate that dollar to the Wounded Warrior Corps. Be sure to get there early, as the wonderful Landon Clements from Bravo’s hit show Southern Charm will throw out our first pitch.
Ticket information for the RiverDogs homestand and any of the remaining home games can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at riverdogs.com. Listen on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area.