CHARLESTON, SC – After giving up a two-run lead in the top of the ninth, the RiverDogs needed a few more late inning heroics as they walked off 5-4 winners for the second night in a row over Columbia in front of a crowd of 4,249 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Friday night.
With their two-run cushion gone, the RiverDogs bounced back with a Jhalan Jackson single up the middle to drive in the winning run scored by Angel Aguilar from second.
After yielding three runs to the RiverDogs in the bottom of the ninth the previous night, the Fireflies provided some timely hits of their own to battle back from a 4-2 deficit in the ninth. David Thompson doubled to left to lead things off for Columbia. Anyelo Gomez labored in two lengthy at-bats but managed to strike out J.C. Rodriguez and force a pop out to short by Tyler Moore. With the Fireflies down to their last out, Vicente Lupo doubled to plate the tying run and force a bottom frame.
After Trey Amburgey grounded out to third, Chris Gittens smacked a double to right center, his first hit as a RiverDog. Aguilar replaced Gittens as a pinch runner and Jackson stroked a shallow single that dropped in front of the center fielder Ivan Wilson to score the speedy Venezuelan from second and lift the RiverDogs to a 2-0 record with their second walk-off win in a row.
Columbia took an early advantage in the first, tagging Charleston starter Will Carter for two runs with four straight two out base hits, giving the Fireflies a 2-0 lead before a Charleston batter stepped into the box.
Carter would bounce back to strike out the side in the second and go on to finish his five innings allowing just the two runs he gave up the in the first frame on four hits while walking two and striking out three.
The RiverDogs picked up a run in the fourth when Chris Gittens who led off the inning with a walk scored on a fielder’s choice on a ground ball by Thairo Estrada.
Charleston took the lead after they put up a three spot in the sixth to swing the score to 4-2. Jackson drew a walk to lead off the inning. Kyle Holder hit an RBI triple that rolled behind the bullpen in right. Connor Spencer followed that up with a double to left center that scored Holder and made it 4-2 Dogs.
Gomez logged 3.2 solid innings of work, holding the Fireflies to just one hit through his first three scoreless innings before laboring in the ninth when the Fireflies mounted a comeback. After giving up the double to Lupo that made it a one-run game, Dorante pulled the righty reliever to bring in Andrew Schwaab to record the final out. Schwaab gave up the go ahead RBI double to Ramos that forced another half inning. In his first appearance as a RiverDog, Schwaab picked up a blown save and the win as he improved to 1-0 on the season.
On the second night of the season, the RiverDogs honored our military in the first ISHPI Red Shirt Friday as fans that entered the gates had the option to donate the dollar they saved to the Wounded Warrior Corps. Fans were treated to a special thanks to our country’s Armed Forces from RiverDogs players and a military family was highlighted in between innings during the ballgame.
The RiverDogs Friday Night Fireworks spectacular was postponed to Saturday. Fans with ticket stubs from Friday night’s contest can redeem them for a future home date and are encouraged to redeem them for the Saturday night fireworks show on April 9. Charleston fans will enjoy the musical stylings of Seth G to accompany the pyrotechnic marvel.
The RiverDogs, the Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, continue their four-game series with the Fireflies in Game Three on Saturday at 6:05pm. The RiverDogs present the first Saturday Live at The Joe of the season as David “The Bullet” Smith brings his Human Cannonball Show to the Lowcountry. Postgame fireworks will follow. The RiverDogs will roll out RHP Will Carter (NR, 0.00) while the Fireflies will send RHP Thomas McIlraith (NR, 0.00). For those that can’t make it out to the ballpark, the game can be heard on WTMA 1250 AM and online at riverdogs.com. Ticket information may be secured by contact the box office at (843)577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.