CHARLESTON, SC – Lexington’s Pedro Hernandez tossed four and one-third scoreless frames, struck out eight, and helped pace the Legends (1-0) past the Charleston RiverDogs (0-1) 3-2 in front of a standing-room only, capacity crowd of 7,796 fans at Joseph P. Riley Jr, park on Opening Night.
The opening day attendance clip was the 3rd highest total since the RiverDogs became affiliated with the New York Yankees in 2005.
Both Hernandez (1-0) and Charleston’s Jordan Foley (0-1) came out of the gate dealing and kept the game a 0-0 tie over the first four innings.
Legends’ LF Brandon Downes and 3B Wander Franco sparked a three-run rally in the fifth with back-to-back doubles and plated a run against the Charleston righty. C Chad Johnson and 2B Carlos Garcia followed with a single each and upped the lead to 2-0.
The lead was increased to 3-0 on Alfredo Escalera’s single to right, which Austin Aune booted. This allowed another run to cross home, making it 3-0 and ending Foley’s night on the hill.
Hernandez wouldn’t make it out of the fifth either, but righty Torey Deshazier came out of the Lexington bullpen and continued to silence the RiverDogs at the plate, keeping the ‘Dogs at bay for his first five outs.
RiverDogs 1B Connor Spencer sparked a rally in the 7th with a leadoff single. Two batters later, it was Aune who moved him to third with a single of his own, which put runners at the corners and one out. Gosuke Katoh’s RBI sacrifice bunt brought Spencer home with the RiverDogs’ first run and Allen Valerio’s single scored Aune and cut the RiverDogs’ deficit to 3-2.
Yoel Espinal sat down 9 of the 10 batters he faced in 3 innings of work. His performance on the mound helped give the RiverDogs offense a chance to come back from the 3-0 deficit, bit the team fell just short.
RiverDogs’ past Opening Day Attendance (as Yankees Affiliates):
2014: 3,122 on 4/8 (4/7 Opening Day rained out)
COMING UP: The RiverDogs and Legends square off three more times in the opening series. Chaz Hebert is scheduled to make the start for Charleston facing Matt Tenuta. Hebert finished the 2014 season as a RiverDog and returns to the ballclub to start the 2015 campaign. First pitch is at 7:05 tomorrow night, pregame show begins at 7:00 on 1250 WTMA “The Big Talker”. This is the first ISHPI Red Shirt Friday of the season and it is presented by WEZL, with postgame fireworks presented by Home Telecom. Support the military by wearing red and when you come to the box office, you can and receive $1 off your ticket. Fans will have the option to donate that dollar to Canines for Veterans, which will again bring Titus the Bat Dog out every Friday to perform his bat boy duties! The RiverDogs will wear special red jerseys as a show of support for our military. For the second night in a row, there will be a huge postgame fireworks display over the scenic Ashley River presented by Home Telecom.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1Ogp5Pj