CHARLESTON, SC – The RiverDogs had a 5-3 lead with two outs in the eighth inning, but the Augusta GreenJackets rallied back to defeat the ‘Dogs 7-6 Monday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
It was a back-and-forth game, as Charleston (2-2) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly in the first off the bat of centerfielder Dustin Fowler. Augusta (2-2) struck back with two runs in the top of the second on an RBI groundout by Randy Ortiz and an RBI double by Johneshwy Fargas.
In the bottom of the third inning the crowd of 3,991 came alive as Charleston took the lead back with authority. Gosuke Katoh hit an RBI single, which was followed by a mammoth two-run blast to right by Dustin Fowler, and an RBI triple by Austin Aune. Fowler’s home run was the RiverDogs’ first of the season.
Lefty Caleb Frare retired the first two GreenJackets in the eighth, but hit the next batter and walked two more to load the bases for Fargas. He knocked home the tying run with a two-run single and scored himself on a two-run base hit by Hunter Cole, which gave Augusta the 7-5 lead.
Charleston nearly tied the game up again in the bottom of the 8th. The R’Dogs loaded the bases with a Connor Spencer single and walks to Allen Valerio and Aune. Alvaro Noriega drove in a run with a ground out to third base and then Brandon Thomas walked to load the bases again. Abiatal Avelino hit a hard chopper up the middle, but Cole ranged to his right behind second base to field it on the run. He made a strong throw to first base just in time to beat Avelino, who dove headfirst into the bag.
The RiverDogs went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, and Augusta held on for the 7-6 victory. Conor Kaden (1-1) earned the first win of his season, Frare (0-1) his first loss, and Reyes Moronta his first save.
BALLPARK FUN: Young baseball players from all around the Lowcountry flooded the gates at The Joe as an early-arriving crowd participated in the parade, competed in the free-throw challenge on the concourse, and enjoyed hot dogs and drinks in Doby’s Deck. The Ashley View Pub was again loaded with patrons enjoying $1 beers and $1 hot dogs.
COMING UP: The series continues Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. and wraps up with an 11:05 a.m. game Wednesday. The GreenJackets will send RHP Jose Reyes (0-0, -.–) to the hill against Charleston’s opening night starter, RHP Jordan Foley (0-1, 6.75). It’s the first “Tuesday Date Night” at The Joe. For each Tuesday home game this season, every duo of fans will receive a special 2-for-$20 deal at the box office. The promotion includes two tickets to the game, two tacos, two fountain drinks, and one nacho tray all for $20.
If you can’t make it to the game, be sure to tune in and listen to the broadcast beginning at 7:00 p.m. on “The Big Talker” 1250 WTMA. The game can also be heard on WTMA.com, RiverDogs.com, and watched on MiLB.tv.
Box Score: http://bitly.com/1DXK4oA
Game Highlights: http://bit.ly/1zbwS8t