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Wilkerman Garcia Walks Off RiverDogs past Fireflies 7-5

Wilkerman Garcia sent the Charleston RiverDogs to victory with a two-run walk-off home run for a 7-5 win over the Columbia Fireflies in game one of a doubleheader Tuesday night at Joe Riley Park.

The RiverDogs took the early lead in the first when Wilkerman Garcia tripled off Fireflies starter David Peterson into the right-field corner and was brought home with an infield single from Oswaldo Cabrera to make it 1-0 Charleston.

The Dogs would extend the lead in the second when David Metzgar earned a two-out single to left off Peterson. Ricardo Ferreira would triple to center field to chase Metzgar to make it 2-0. After Garcia walked, Cabrera singled to left to plate Ferreira and gave the Dogs a 3-0 lead.

Columbia would chip away against Charleston starter Rony Garcia with runs in the third and fourth. Matt Winaker doubled down to right field line to score Walter Rasquin in the third to bring the Flies within 3-1. In the fourth, Ali Sanchez lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Quinn Brodey and put the score at 3-2.

The Dogs would extend the lead back out to two when Ferreira brought home Jason Lopez with a sacrifice fly to right field and make it 4-2 after four.

The Fireflies would break out in the fifth with three runs to grab a 5-4 lead. After Edgardo Fermin hit a fly ball out to second, Blake Tiberi would walk. Rony Garcia would then give up the first of three extra-base hits to Columbia when Winaker would drive in his second run of the game with a triple to bring home Tiberi for the third Columbia run. Jeremy Vazquez would drive home Winaker with a double to right-center field to tie the game at three. Brodey followed with another double, this time to center field, that would plate Vazquez and give the Fireflies the lead.

The RiverDogs would rally back in the fifth and tie the game when Lopez would single home Chris Hess to make it 5-5.

The game would roll into extras and Charleston would get a defensive gem in the top of the eighth from Leonardo Molina who caught a fly ball in left and gunned out Winaker at the plate for a 7-2 double play to keep the game tied at five.

In the bottom of the eighth, Lopez started at second and would remain there when Metzgar struck out against Carlos Hernandez. Ferreira would follow with a dribbler down the third base line that Hernandez fielded nicely and nipped Ferreira for the second out at first. Lopez would advance to third on the play, which would set the stage for Wilkerman Garcia. Garcia hit a long, towering home run over the right-field wall to win in walk-off fashion for the RiverDogs. Garcia ended up going 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored.

Hernandez (L, 0-1) would take the loss for the Fireflies while Martin (W, 1-0) earned the win in relief for the Dogs.

With the win, the RiverDogs improve to 8-10 on the season while Columbia dropped to 11-7.