Evan Rutckyj allowed just one unearned run in five innings and got the win as the Charleston RiverDogs rolled to a 10-3 win over the Hickory Crawdads Tuesday night in South Atlantic League action at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 2,246.
The RiverDogs are now 35-22 on the season, and they picked up a half game on the idle Asheville Tourists. Hickory fell to 31-26.
In the first inning, the RiverDogs took a quick three run lead against Hickory's Nicholas Martinez (1-2). With one out, four straight singles brought in one run and a second run scored on a fielders choice. With runners on first and third, Gary Sanchez stole home on a double steal, the team's second steal of home this season, to put Charleston up 3-0 after one inning.
Two innings later, the RiverDogs took advantage of back-to-back leadoff walks to double their lead. Tyler Austin (2-5, RBI, 3 runs) followed the free passes with a double that scored one run and an error on the play allowed a second run to score and moved Austin to third. An RBI groundout by Sanchez then capped off another three-run rally.
Hickory got on the board with an unearned run in the fourth when a single, a walk and a groundout put men on second and third and Zachary Cone (2-5, 2 runs) scored on an error for the Crawdads first run. They could've had more but with the bases loaded, starter Evan Rutckyj (2-2) induced a popout to end the inning. That was the only run Rutckyj allowed on the night in five innings. He allowed just five hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Dante Bichette, Jr. (3-5, 2 RBI, run ) manufactured a run almost single-handedly in the fifth when he got on with a one out single. He moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on an error and scored on another wild pitch to restore Charleston's six run lead.
The Crawdads made the score 7-2 in the sixth when Jhonny Gomez worked a bases loaded walk, but Bichette Jr. brought the RiverDogs right back in the next inning with a double that scored Austin all the way from first.
When Hickory pushed another run across in the seventh on an RBI single by Jeremy Williams, the RiverDogs were up to the task again, as Reymond Nunez drilled his third homer of the year over the right field wall. Mason Williams then added his fourth homer of the year by blasting a pitch out to right for Charleston's tenth run of the night.