The Charleston RiverDogs battled, but fell 4-3 to the Greensboro Grasshoppers in a close first game of a four game series at NewBridge Bank Park. The Grasshoppers are now 44-23 on the year, first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division. Charleston is second in the SAL Southern Division at 38-26.
Greensboro got out hit 10-6, but it did not matter in the end. The RiverDogs trailed 3-0 after three innings, then scored one run in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to tie the game at 3. Then, in the bottom of the sixth inning, Matt Smith (1-4, run) scored on an RBI groundout to second base by Terrence Dayleg to make it 4-3 Grasshoppers, and they never looked back.
Angelo Gumbs had a nice night at the plate for Charleston going 3-3 with a double and a run scored. Mason Williams was also 2-4 out of the leadoff spot. Casey Stevenson singled home Gumbs to tie it at three with two outs in the top of the 6th.
RiverDogs starter Will Oliver gave up four runs/three earned on six hits and three strikeouts in six innings en route to the loss. His record now stands at 2-3 on the season. Fred Lewis was fantastic out of the bullpen pitching two no-hit innings and striking out four.
Austin Brice started for Greensboro and was solid allowing only two runs over five innings and seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Reliever Jose Urena was even better though limiting Charleston to just one run in four innings of three hit, four strikeout baseball. He struck out the side in the ninth inning to close the door on the RiverDogs.
Game two of the series will see a starting pitcher matchup of two lefties with Evan Rutckyj throwing for Charleston, and Adam Conley on the mound for Greensboro. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7:00pm.