The Charleston RiverDogs came from behind on Saturday night and beat the Rome Braves 3-2 in 11 innings.
The RiverDogs fell into an early hole again as the Braves scored two runs in the bottom of the third off starter Luis Niebla. With one out in the third Niebla walked and gave up a single to set up second and third base after the runner advanced on the throw.
A RBI groundout and a RBI single gave the Braves a 2-0 lead and cruised through to the eighth inning. In the top of the eighth a leadoff walk to left fielder Brandon Thomas came around to score on a two out RBI single to center fielder Claudio Custodio to half the Braves lead to 2-1.
With the game on the line in the bottom of the ninth Abi Avelino lead off with a walk and was sacrificed over to second on a bunt by Tyler Wade. After Michael O’Neill walked Avelino was caught trying to steal third base to make the second out of the inning. But with the game on the line young third baseman Miguel Andjuar smacked a RBI triple to center field to tie the game at 2-2.
After a scoreless 10th inning Custodio lead off with a single but was forced out at second on an Avelino ground ball. Wade would fly out and the RiverDogs would be down to their last out again. A wild pitch moved Avelino to second and O’Neill would walk to put runners on first and second. A second wild pitch would move the runners into scoring position and a third wild pitch would score Avelino to put the RiverDogs up 3-2 in the 11th.
Charleston reliever Stefan Lopez would come on for the save and would end up loading the bases with one out. But Lopez would pick up his sixth save getting Braves center fielder Connor Oliver to roll over and ground a double play ball to to second baseman Gosuke Katoh.
Niebla pitched five innings giving up those two runs and five hits while striking out three. The bullpen threw six scoreless innings led by Conor Mullee, Eric Ruth and Lopez.
The RiverDogs (66-66) will have their final game of the season with the Braves Sunday afternoon in the rubber match of the three game set. The Dogs will send starter Rookie Davis to the mound to try and win the series.
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