In front of a crowd of 2,219 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, Reymond Nunez hit a walk-off two-run double in the ninth inning to give the Charleston RiverDogs a 6-5 victory over the Greenville Drive in South Atlantic League action on Monday night.
The RiverDogs now stand at 46-33 (7-5 in the second half) and can win the series by taking the final game. The loss by the Drive puts their record at 41-41 (7-5 in the second half).
Charleston started the ninth trailing 5-4 and Greenville's Mike McCarthy (1-2) quickly got the first two outs of the innings. Mason Williams then worked a walk and moved third on single by Ben Gamel. Tyler Austin was then intentionally walked to load the bases and that brought up Nunez (3-5, 2 RBI, run), who came through with the game winning hit. Dan Mahoney (1-0), who got the final out of the ninth on only one pitch, picked up his first win of the year.
Greenville had trailed 4-2 headed to the ninth, but rallied to take the lead. After a double by Keury De La Cruz (3-5, 2 runs), Garin Cecchini launched a game-tying two run homer over the right field wall. The next batter, David Renfroe, doubled and that brought up Drew Turocy (2-4, 2 RBI) who's RBI double made the score 5-4.
"That was a ballgame we needed to have," said RiverDogs manager Carlos Mendoza. "We took that early lead and got a great start from Gerritse. Then in the ninth with two outs, nobody on, great at-bat from Mason, nice base hit from Gamel and then Nunez coming through with that big double. Great win."
The game was scoreless early, as Charleston's Brett Gerritse and Greenville's Jason Garcia each started well. The RiverDogs became the first team to dent home plate in the fourth when a Tyler Austin walk followed by an error put men on first and third and Austin scored on a wild pitch. Two more walks in the inning brought up Kelvin de Leon (1-4, RBI), who slapped a run-scoring infield single to shortstop. Garcia forced in two more runs when he hit Ali Castillo and walked Williams to fall behind 4-0.
Gerritse continued pitching well, keeping the Drive off the board before being relieved in the fifth inning. He pitched 4.2 innings and gave up only two hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Fred Lewis relieved Gerritse in the fifth and also threw a scoreless sixth.
In the seventh, the Drive rallied and cut their deficit in half. With two on and two out, Garin Cecchini lined an RBI single back through the middle for Greenville's first run and a Drew Turocy walk with the bases loaded later made the score 4-2. Philip Wetherell replaced Lewis after the walk to Turocy and got the third out to get out of the jam. Wetherell also pitched a scoreless eighth, but couldn't hold the lead in the ninth.