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Feature Sized – Charleston RiverDogs third baseman Oswaldo Cabrera during a game against the Lakewood BlueClaws at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, SC on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Martin Griff)

RiverDogs Take Three of Four From Columbia 3-2

In a game that mirrored the first three games of the series, the Charleston RiverDogs won a back-and-forth affair against the Columbia Fireflies 3-2 in walk-off fashion.

The RiverDogs would jump out again as they had in each game of the four-game set against the Flies. Wilkerman Garcia singled to right field to lead off the game against Columbia starter Tony Dibrell. Oswaldo Cabrera would ground out to second with Garcia advancing to second on the play. Steven Sensley would walk with Garcia stealing third on ball four. Dibrell then walked Dalton Blaser to load the bases. Pablo Olivares then struck out to bring Leonardo Molina to the plate. Molina would line a single up the middle to score Garcia for a 1-0 lead. On the play, center fielder Quinn Brodey would gun out Steven Sensley at home for the third out of the inning.

The Fireflies would fight back in the fourth putting the first two batters on against Dogs starter J.P. Sears. Sears had pitched a perfect three innings to start but allowed a Raphael Gladu single to start the inning. After walking Blake Tiberi, acting RiverDogs manager Dan Fiorito summoned Braden Bristo out of the bullpen with runners on first and second. Matt Winaker would reach on an error from Dogs first baseman Blaser who could not handle a ground ball he ranged to his right to try and field. Bristo did get Jeremy Vazquez to strike out, but with Brodey at the plate, Bristo threw a wild pitch that would score Gladu and tie the game at one. With the infield drawn in, Brodey would hit a hard ground ball to second baseball Oswaldo Cabrera who was drawn in along with the rest of the infield. Cabrera held Tiberi at third and recorded the out at first. Bristo would get out of the inning with a fly out to left field off the bat of Rigoberto Terrazas.

The Dogs would pull ahead in the sixth. Blaser hit a one-out line drive to Gladu in right who could not handle the ball. The ball went off his glove and skipped to center field allowing Blaser to get to second for a double. Carlos Hernandez was then handed the ball to take over for Dibrell for the Fireflies. Hernandez would be facing Pablo Olivares when he uncorked a wild pitch that moved Blaser to third. Olivares would make him pay for that with a single to left field to bring home Blaser and put the Dogs up 2-1.

Columbia answered in the top of the eighth off Dogs reliever Brian Trieglaff. Scott Manea started the inning with a single to right field to start the inning. After Trieglaff retired Giovanny Alfonzo on a fly ball to center field, Gladu singled to center field to put runners on first and second. Trieglaff would then get Tiberi to ground out to shortstop Wilkerman Garcia, but after stepping on second base to record the second out, Garcia threw the ball into the first base dugout allowing Manea to score and tie the game at two.

The RiverDogs would not score in the eighth and Trieglaff (BS, 2) (W, 2-1) kept the Flies off the board in the ninth.

Jason Lopez would get the game-winning rally started with a ball that was smoked off the glove of Flies third baseman Alfonzo for a single. Metzgar came to the plate, and after he was unable to get a bunt down in two attempts, he lofted a ball into right field to place runners and first and second bringing Garcia to the plate. Debora (L, 1-1) would get Garcia to pop out in foul territory to catcher Ali Sanchez toward the Flies dugout to bring Cabrera to the plate. Cabrera would rip a single into right field to chase Lopez home for a 3-2 RiverDogs victory.

RiverDogs pitchers combined to allow just four hits while striking out 11 and walking only two. Sears, Bristo, and Trieglaff each pitched three innings.

Cabrera, Lopez, and Metzgar paced the RiverDogs offense each collecting two hits. Cabrera went 2-for-5 while Lopez went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Metzgar also went 2-for-4.

Flies starter Dibrell would go five and one-third innings allowing five hits, two runs that were both earned while striking out 11 Dogs.

With the win, the RiverDogs take three games of the four-game set from the Fireflies and improve their record to 10-11 on the season. The Flies drop to 12-9 on the year.

Charleston hits the road for a three-game set in Greenville to face off against the Drive. They return home Tuesday for a six-game homestand. The Dogs will face the Asheville Tourists for three games, and then the Lexington Legends come to Joe Riley Park for three games starting Friday, May 4.

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