CHARLESTON, SC- The Charleston RiverDogs overcame a three-run deficit and battled back with a five run seventh inning in a 5-4 victory over the Tourists to complete the sweep of Asheville in front of a crowd of 5,627 at The Joe Wednesday afternoon.
The RiverDogs (6-1) notched their fourth win in a row with the victory to take sole possession of first place in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League after taking all three games from Asheville to close the opening homestand.
Down 3-0 heading into the seventh, the Tourists (1-6) turned to their bullpen after righty starter Parker French shut out the RiverDogs through the first six frames and only allowed five hits. After Angel Aguilar struck out to lead off the inning, Charleston catcher Eduardo Navas would get the parade started with a double to left field. Jeff Hendrix took a called third strike in the next at bat, and the RiverDogs offense heated up as six straight batters went on to reach.
Shortstop Hoy Jun Park singled and Trey Amburgey drove him home with an RBI base knock to left field to make it 3-1. Connor Spencer drew a walk and Jhalan Jackson swung at the first pitch from the Asheville righty fresh out of the bullpen, Justin Lawrence, to score a pair and tie the ballgame at three. Kyle Holder followed with a base on balls before Kendall Coleman roped a single down the right field line to bring home two more and make it 5-3 Charleston.
Asheville got a run back in the eighth on an RBI infield single by Terry McClure to bring it back within a run for the Tourists trying to avoid their fifth straight loss.
RiverDogs hurler Andrew Schwaab entered the ballgame in the top of the ninth with a one run lead for the second consecutive game to pick up the save, his second of the year.
Anyelo Gomez went 4.2 innings in his first start of the season for Charleston, allowing three runs on five hits with a three walks and four strikeouts.
Willie Gabay came out of the bullpen to work 3.1 solid innings to pick up the win, allowing one run on two hits with a walk and a pair of Ks.
The RiverDogs welcomed students of the Lowcountry in the first of two Education Days this year at The Joe. The sold out crowd occupied by local grade schools and high schools from around the area brought the energy as the RiverDogs battled back from the early deficit. It was also the first Senior Wednesday of the season with fans 65 and older that entered the gates before 11am receiving a free hot dog and a drink.
The RiverDogs head out for their first road trip of the series to take on the Augusta GreenJackets on Opening Night at Lake Olmstead Stadium at 7:05pm on Thursday night. The RiverDogs will send LHP Josh Rogers (0-1, 5.40) to the hill while the GreenJackets will counter with RHP Phil Bickford (0-1, 5.79). 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.