Going into the game with a matchup of unbeaten starting pitchers, it looked like there might be a pitchers duel at L.P. Frans Stadium on Saturday night. The result was quite the opposite, thanks in large part to RiverDogs OF Tyler Austin's two HR, seven RBI performance. South Atlantic League Southern Division leading Charleston improved to 16-5 with the win, and the Hickory Crawdads fell to 14-8 with the loss.
It was another amazing night offensively for Austin (2-4, solo HR, Grand Slam, sac fly, 7 RBI) who advanced his Sally league leading HR total to eight with his two dingers. "I just got 2 good pitches to hit, and I took advantage," said Austin. "We have such a great lineup, it could have been anybody, and tonight it was me." Cito Culver had his first two extra base hits of the year with a double, triple, single and three RBI's. Eight of the nine in the RiverDogs lineup had at least one hit in the game.
The starting pitching matchup did not live up to the hype with Jose Campos of Charleston allowing eight runs on seven hits (one HR) and three walks in just 2.2 innings. Hickory's Victor Payano giving up four runs on four hits in five innings. Neither starter factored in the decision. Fred Lewis got the win for the RiverDogs after 2.2 scoreless innings to improve to 3-0. Nick McBride got the loss after allowing six unearned runs on four hits in just one inning to fall to 2-1. After trailing 8-4 following three innings of play, Charleston scored six runs in the 6th inning, and two more in the 8th and 9th. The RiverDogs bullpen combined for 7.1 innings of one run, five hit baseball
Game two of the series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 5:05pm. RHP Caleb Cotham (2-0, 2.00 ERA) will start for Charleston, and Hickory will counter with RHP Jerod Eickhoff (2-2, 3.66 ERA).