CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston RiverDogs were holding onto a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when Dustin Fowler blasted a grand slam over the right field fence to lift the R’Dogs to a 7-2 victory over the Hickory Crawdads Monday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Charleston (16-9) led 1-0 in the top of the fifth, but Hickory’s offense came to life. Ronald Guzman laced a single to center that scored Josh Morgan and Jose Cardona, giving Hickory their first lead of the game at 2-1. The Crawdads (16-8) left the bases loaded for the second time in the game and kept the door open for Charleston’s comeback.
The RiverDogs drew four walks in the bottom half of the frame much to the delight of the 3,151 fans in attendance. Angel Aguilar scored on a Devyn Bolasky groundout and Connor Spencer scored on a wild pitch and Charleston held a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
Jose Trevino reached third base for Hickory in the top of the eighth via a leadoff double and wild pitch, but Cale Coshow struck out the side to preserve the lead. After Fowler’s eighth inning grand slam, Coshow finished out the game without allowing a run to earn his South Atlantic League-leading seventh save of the season. Andre Del Bosque (2-0) earned the win in relief for Charleston while David Perez (0-1) took the loss for Hickory.
Fowler’s slam was the first of the season for Charleston and the first since Kale Sumner’s on August 16, 2014 against the Rome Braves at The Joe. Hickory left a total of 10 men on base in the game, running their tally to 43 men left on during the four-game series. Also of note, the game finished with just one umpire as the original home plate umpire was hit by a wild pitch on top of the head and could not finish the game.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1IbQPo2
Game Highlights: https://youtu.be/GvDHjYnESvo
BALLPARK FUN: In honor of Monday Night Baseball, the RiverDogs entered the stadium through an inflatable Charlie T. RiverDog and a machine blasted smoke into the air as the starters jogged out to their positions. Fans enjoyed dollar hot dogs and beers in the Ashley View Pub. Dustin Fowler’s grand slam provided plenty of entertainment as well. Fans all stood up and cheered loudly after the homer and again when a bucket of ice was dumped on Fowler’s head during the postgame interview. It was not a Gold-Glove crowd in attendance as many catchable balls were dropped in the stands, particularly by those in the AVP.
COMING UP: The RiverDogs have an off day Tuesday as they travel to Lexington for a three-game series with the Legends starting Wednesday. Charleston will send RHP Luis Cedeno (2-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound for the opener, where as the Legends have yet to name a starter. You can watch listen to the action on “The Big Talker” 1250 WTMA, WTMA.com, and RiverDogs.com.