Francisco Arcia, Tyler Austin, and Ben Gamel all homered in the Charleston RiverDogs (22-9) big 15-3 victory over the West Virginia Power (11-22) on Thursday night at Appalachian Power Park. With the win, Charleston remains in first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division.
Even without Mason Williams and Gary Sanchez in the lineup, Charleston still scored a season high 15 runs in the triumph. Arcia got the start at catcher in place of Sanchez and turned in a 3-5 performance with his second homer of the year and a career high five RBI's. Angelo Gumbs batted leadoff in place of Williams, and he singled in each of his first three at-bats to go along with a RiverDogs single game season high four stolen bases.
It was not all hitting though, the RiverDogs pitchers were fantastic as well. Starter Brett Gerritse got a no-decision finishing with three innings of work allowing three hits, two runs, four walks, and two strikeouts. Mariel Checo allowed a solo homer to Power CF Greg Polanco, the only blip on the radar over his three innings of work with three strikeouts to earn the victory and move to 3-0 on the year. Dan Mahony pitched two perfect innings striking out three, then Joel de la Cruz followed with a shut down ninth fanning two batters. West Virginia starter Matt Benedict got tagged with the loss falling to 2-2 after allowing six hits, seven runs/five earned, walking one, and striking out three over 5.1 innings.
The RiverDogs jumped out to an early lead as Gumbs and Austin each scored a run in the top of the first inning. It was a sign of things to come for the night as they went on to score a run in the second, two in the third, two in the sixth, three in the eight, and then five in the ninth. Every RiverDogs starter had at least one hit except Casey Stevenson who reached base three times (error, hit-by-pitch, and walk) and scored two runs. And, six of the nine starters had at least two hits with Gumbs, Cito Culver, Dante Bichette Jr., Reymond Nunez, Kelvin de Leon, and Arcia all chipping in with multi-hit games.
In the top of the eighth inning, the RiverDogs blew the game open on the Arcia homer to make it 10-2. Then in the ninth, back-to-back home runs by Ben Gamel and Tyler Austin pushed the final score to 15-3. The two-run blast by Gamel was his first of the year, and Austin's solo shot was his league leading 11th of the season.
Friday night the RiverDogs and Power will face off for game two of the four game series with RHP Caleb Cotham (2-1, 2.67 ERA) throwing for Charleston and RHP Ryan Hafner (0-2, 7.71 ERA) will start for West Virginia. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm on Friday.