CHARLESTON, SC – Rookie Davis tied a career high with six innings pitched in his second career quality start, sending the Charleston RiverDogs to an 8-1 victory over the Hagerstown Suns on Sunday in front of 5,175 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action. Mike Ford had four runs batted in between a home run and a sacrifice fly while Tyler Wade scored three runs and drove in another.
The RiverDogs improved to 22-20 in the second half and 55-57 overall. The Suns fell back to 27-16 and 71-42, respectively. Both teams won two games while splitting a four-game series.
Hagerstown took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Rafael Bautista tripled on the very first pitch of the game from Davis. Bautista stayed at third base through a strikeout and a fielder’s choice before Jimmy Yezzo singled to center field to bring in Bautista to score.
Charleston answered in the bottom of the first, tying the game at 1-1. Wade singled against Nick Pivetta and advanced to second base on a groundout by Dustin Fowler. Miguel Andujar bounced a two-out single to right field that scored Wade for the game-tying run.
With two outs in the third, a wild third strike gave the RiverDogs the opening they needed to score five runs and take a 6-1 lead. The bases were loaded with a full count for Miguel Andujar, who was ruled to have swung at a pitch in the dirt. The pitch bounced away from Austin Chubb, allowing Andujar to reach first base and allowing Abiatal Avelino and Wade to score. Ford followed with a three-run home run, his 11th blast of the year, for a 6-1 RiverDogs lead.
Davis shut down the Suns after their run in the opening inning. A pair of strikeouts closed a scoring threat in the fourth inning and started a stretch of six straight batters retired. Davis struck out six while allowing just one run in six innings pitched. This tied his six-inning start against the Savannah Sand Gnats on June 24 for the longest outing of his professional career.
Charleston increased its lead to 8-1 during the bottom of the seventh. Avelino led off with a single against Ryan Ullmann and made it to second base on a wild pitch. Wade doubled to drive in Avelino. A fly out sent Wade to third base before a walk to Andujar put runners on the corners. Ford lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Wade.
Davis received the victory to move to 6-8 this season. Pivetta took the loss, sending his record to 12-7. Pivetta gave up six runs while striking out two in three innings pitched.
BALLPARK FUN: The RiverDogs Holiday Celebration featured an appearance from Summertime Santa and special holiday recognition for each inning of the game. This included the Jimmy John’s Easter Egg Hunt, Harris Teeter Mashed Potato Easting Contest for Thanksgiving, and the Hebrew National April Fools’ Target Prank. The RiverDogs rewarded children that completed their summer reading assignment with a free ticket and a free food voucher for Library Night.
COMING UP: Charleston starts an eight-game road trip with a Monday doubleheader at the Savannah Sand Gnats at 5:35pm. RiverDogs RHP Andy Beresford (1-0, 4.26 ERA) and LHP Justin Kamplain (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will be the starting pitchers against Sand Gnats LHP Alex Panteliodis (3-3, 4.44 ERA) and RHP Miller Diaz (5-1, 2.41 ERA), respectively. The next RiverDogs homestand begins on Monday, August 11 against the Hickory Crawdads and continues through Sunday, August 17 against the Rome Braves. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1skaIQh