Ali Castillo drove in two runs and made a number of nice plays defensively for Charleston, and the pitching was fantastic in a 3-2 RiverDogs win over the Savannah Sand Gnats on Independence Day at Historic Grayson Stadium. There were 4,180 on hand to see some great defense and timely hitting by Charleston. Savannah is now 4-10 in the second half (45-36 overall) while the RiverDogs advance to 9-5 with the win (48-33 overall).
The Sand Gnats struck first on a solo homer by Aderlin Rodriguez leading off the bottom of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Castillo (2-4, double, two RBI) put Charleston in front 2-1 half an inning later with a bases loaded two RBI single scoring Kelvin de Leon and Eduardo Sosa.
In the top of the fourth inning with two outs and runners on third and first base, Cito Culver bolted for second and the Savannah catcher Cam Maron threw down to try and throw him out. Arcia bolted for home and scored without a throw stealing home to make it a 3-2 RiverDogs advantage. The Sand Gnats cut the lead to 3-2 on the back of Maron's third homer of the year, a solo shot in the fifth inning.
The play of the game came in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and the tying run at first in the form of Rodriguez, Brian Harrison doubled down the left field line for Savannah. Left fielder Eduardo Sosa threw to his cut off man shortstop Cito Culver who then fired a strike to RiverDogs catcher Tyson Blaser. Rodriguez was waved home and the throw beat him. He ran over Blaser, but the catcher held on to preserve the one run lead for Charleston and end the inning
Bryan Mitchell started for the RiverDogs, and he was very effective earning a win to improve to 6-6 on the year. Mitchell allowed just four hits and two runs striking out three. The bullpen for Charleston was even better. Joel de la Cruz retired eight in a row finishing with only two hits allowed in three scoreless innings and three strikeouts. Pedro Guerra pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his third save of the year.
Thursday night the RiverDogs will send out LHP Matt Bashore (1-2, 2.13 ERA), and Savannah will counter with RHP Michael Fulmer (5-4, 3.00 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm in Savannah.