CHARLESTON, SC – The RiverDogs dug deep for late inning heroics one more time as they rallied with a three-run ninth inning that wasn’t enough as Charleston were defeated, 8-7, by the GreenJackets on Friday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the RiverDogs (7-2) who still sit in first place in the Southern Division and tied for the best record in the South Atlantic League.
With an 8-4 GreenJackets advantage heading into the top of the ninth inning, the RiverDogs rallied with four straight base hits to put the pressure on the Augusta bullpen. Jhalan Jackson roped his league leading sixth double of the season to lead things off before Kyle Holder hustled out an infield single to put runners at the corners. Charleston third baseman Thairo Estrada plated the first run of the inning with an RBI single to right before Kendall Coleman brought in two more on a smash single to right center field that made it 8-7 Augusta.
After a sac bunt by the catcher, Radley Haddad, to push Coleman to second, centerfielder Jeff Hendrix drew his third walk of the ballgame to put runners on first and second. After a wild pitch and a strikeout of Hoy Jun Park, the tying run was just 90 feet away with two outs. Augusta reliever forced a fly out to left by RiverDogs first baseman Connor Spencer to end the ballgame on what stymied a three-run, four-hit rally by Charleston. The RiverDogs now have scored 10 runs in the ninth inning through eight games this season after falling just shy of their sixth comeback victory of the season.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the first, the RiverDogs dug themselves in an early hole with a short start from Simon De la Rosa (0-2). The righty from Boca Chica, Dominican Republic allowed six earned runs while walking four batters over just 1.1 innings of work before exiting the ballgame with less than six outs record for the second start in a row. It was 6-1 GreenJackets after two innings were complete.
Charleston started the comeback by getting a run back in the sixth on an RBI single by Haddad who drove in his first run of the season on a base hit to left center.
Back-to-back RBI knocks by Estrada and Coleman in the seventh brought the RiverDogs back within a pair before Dylan Davis crushed a two-run homer off a hanging breaking ball by David Palladino in the seventh to give Augusta a four-run cushion and set up the comeback that would fall short for Charleston in the ninth.
Cody Carroll pitched 4.2 crucial innings of relief to rescue the RiverDogs from a shortened start. The former Southern Miss Golden Eagle scattered four hits while fanning six and not walking a batter in his second outing of the season.
Coleman finished the night going 4-5 with three RBI to lead the Charleston offensive charge.
The RiverDogs offense collected 15 hits while stranding 14 baserunners in the loss.
The RiverDogs continue the series with the GreenJackets in Game Three tomorrow at 6:05pm on Saturday night. The RiverDogs will send RHP Brody Koerner (1-0, 10.80) to the hill while the GreenJackets will counter with LHP Grant Watson (1-0, 1.59). Fans can tune in on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area as well as online at riverdogs.com. Ticket information for any of the RiverDogs remaining home games this season may be secured by contacting the box office at (843)577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.