AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Charleston RiverDogs trailed 4-2 heading into the final frame, but rallied back to plate a trio of runs in the controversial ninth and took down the Augusta GreenJackets 5-4 Monday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium. The win, combined with Asheville’s loss to Hickory puts the RiverDogs (7-4) in sole possession of first place for the first time this season.
Gosuke Katoh led off the ninth with a single to center and put the wheels in motion for the comeback. Eduardo de Oleo and Austin Aune hit back-to-back singles with one down, the second of which scored Katoh and cut the deficit to 4-3.
Jose Javier was next when the controversy stuck. He hit a ground ball to third, fielded by Jonah Arenado who tried to apply the tag to the lead runner and fire to first to complete the game-ending double play, but the base umpire deemed both runners at the corners safe and the bases were loaded with one down.
The call brought Augusta’s manager Nestor Rojas out to argue, which did not end in his favor as he was ejected. Brandon Thomas polished off the rally with a bloop a single into shallow left that scored both de Oleo and Aune and gave Charleston the 5-4 lead.
Cale Coshow came on in the ninth and retired the GreenJackets (4-6) in order in the ninth, locking down the win and his third save in as many chances.
The RiverDogs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first as Jorge Mateo drove in Abiatal Avelino from third. Augusta responded with two runs of their own in the second against righty Joey Maher. Designated hitter John Riley and left fielder Andrew Cain drove in a run each, giving the home team the lead.
In the fifth, Aune hit a gift triple that got lost above the lights in center and scored on Javier’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2. Sean Carley and Yoel Espinal each gave up a run in their outings, and the GreenJackets held the 4-2 lead until the ninth.
Maher pitched well in his first start of the season logging four innings. He gave up a pair of runs on four hits, a walk, and struck out three. Espinal (1-0) took home the win for his two innings of work. Reyes Moronta (0-1) was charged with the blown save and loss for the GreenJackets.
COMING UP: The RiverDogs and GreenJackets get set for the second game of the three-game series Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. LHP Justin Kamplain (1-1, 3.60) gets the start for Charleston and will face off against Augusta’s LHP Nick Gonzalez (0-0, 9.82). Be sure to tune in and listen to the broadcast starting with the Zaxby’s pregame show beginning at 7:00 p.m. on “The Big Talker” 1250 WTMA. The game can also be heard on WTMA.com and RiverDogs.com.
The RiverDogs remain on the road until for two more games, before they return home and play host to the Savannah Sand Gnats for a four-plus game series starting Thursday, April 23. The homestand opens with a special visit from the Budweiser Clydesdales on the second Budweiser Thirsty Thursday of the season presented by 95SX. DJ Natty Heavy will be spinning today’s popular tunes in the Ashley View Pub. Visit RiverDogs.com or call 843-577-DOGS to secure your seats today.