An RBI single by Tyson Blaser in the 13th inning gave the Charleston RiverDogs the lead and they went on to earn an 8-4 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats in South Atlantic League action on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 805 at Historic Grayson Stadium.
Charleston now has a record of 50-35 (11-7 in the second half) and took three out of five from Savannah to drop them to 47-38 (6-12 in the second half).
The rally that won the game started with singles by Ali Castillo and Ben Gamel, which brought up Blaser (4-6, 2 RBI, 2 runs), who knocked in the go-ahead run against pitcher Jared West (1-2). A second run scored later in the inning on an error and Casey Stevenson (2-6, 4 RBI) added two more insurance runs with a two-run double to close out the scoring. John Brebbia (3-0) threw three scoreless innings of relief to get the win and remain undefeated.
The RiverDogs wasted no time in getting on the board against starter Domingo Tapia. A walk and a one out single put two men on in the first inning for Blaser, who lined a base hit back through the middle to score the game's first run. The runners moved up to second and third when Tapia uncorked a wild pitch and Stevenson brought them both in with single to left for an early 3-0 advantage.
One inning later, Cody Grice's aggressive baserunning got Charleston another run. After reaching on a one out single, Grice stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher. When the next batter, Eduardo Sosa, lifted a fly ball to left, Grice tagged up and scored after the catch for run number four.
Meanwhile, Savannah couldn't touch RiverDogs' starter Scottie Allen. The right-hander was nearly unhittable, as he retired the first 14 batters he faced before two singles and an error led to an unearned run. He finished his outing by striking out the side in the fifth and left having allowed just two hits and that one unearned run. Allen totaled six strikeouts on the day and didn't walk a batter.
Joel De La Cruz took over for Allen in the sixth and pitched one scoreless inning, but did allow a run in the seventh. Brian Harrison walked with one out and Dustin Lawley (3-5, run) doubled to move him to third. Harrison scored when Charlie Thurber grounded out to cut Charleston's lead to just two. Then, in the eighth, Aderlin Rodriguez tied the game for the Sand Gnats with a two-run homer that cleared the wall in center. Rodriguez's bomb, his 16th of the year, was his third in this five game series, with the other two providing the difference in Savannah's two 1-0 wins, first on Friday, and again on Saturday. The score remained deadlocked at four until the 13th.
After a day off on Monday, the RiverDogs will be back at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, beginning an eight game homestand with four against the Asheville Tourists. The first game will be on Tuesday night, starting at 7:05 pm, with RHP Bryan Mitchell (6-6, 4.44 ERA) starting for Charleston against Asheville's LHP Tyler Anderson (7-2, 3.08 ERA). Fans who visit the Riley Park box office on Tuesday can take advantage of buy-one, get-one ticket specials on Two-for-Tuesday. On another Craft Beer Tap Tuesday, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, Blue Moon and Yuengling Light will be available for tasting on the stadium concourse.