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Chaz Hebert (Bryan Green)

RiverDogs Fall to Gnats in Doubleheader

The Charleston RiverDogs lost both games of a doubleheader with the Savannah Sand Gnats dropping three of their four game set across two days. The Sand Gnats held the RiverDogs at bay in a 2-0 win in Game 1 and hit a walk-off home run in Game 2 winning 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh.

In the first game the Gnats got the scoring going in the first inning with a leadoff double from Yeixon Ruiz. Ruiz ending up moving to third on a groundout and then scoring on a Dominic Smith groundout.

That hit would be all that RiverDogs starter Gabriel Encinas would give up, allowing two walks and striking out two in his three and a third innings of work. Encinas was relieved by Conor Mulle who tossed two and two thirds of one run ball himself, giving up an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth after a throwing error by shortstop Abi Avelino and a wild pitch.

The RiverDogs bats just couldn’t get going against the Gnats in Game 1 scattering four hits and three walks during the seven inning game. First baseman Mike Ford was 1-for-2 with a walk on the day but the lineup left 12 men on base on the afternoon.

In the second game the RiverDogs got off to a better start scoring in the first inning on a Michael O’Neil single that scored Avelino from second. The Gnats tied the game in the bottom of the fourth but the resilient RiverDogs took the lead right back in the top of the fifth. Ford hit a line drive triple to right field to score Avelino again and take a 2-1 lead. Ford finished both games 3-for-6 with a walk, triple and a RBI.

But RiverDogs starter Chaz Hebert couldn’t make the lead hold up in the bottom of the fifth. Hebert allowed a two-run homer run to Stefan Sabol and the Gnats took a 3-2 lead. Hebert went five innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three.

In the top of the sixth Brandon Thomas and Yeicok Calderon tied the game again on back to back doubles with two outs. Eric Ruth relieved Hebert and tossed a scoreless frame to take the game to the seventh. The RiverDogs went down in order in the top of the inning but they wouldn’t get another chance as Sabol took Ruth deep on a 2-2 pitch to left field with a runner on first to win the game.

The RiverDogs (56-60) now travel to take on the Rome Braves in a four game series.

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