Francisco Arcia drove a go-ahead, two-run double into right field in the top of the eighth inning for the Charleston RiverDogs and they held on for a 14-13 triumph over the Kannapolis Intimidators on Sunday evening in South Atlantic League action in front of 1,436 at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.
The win gives Charleston a split of this four game series and puts them in sole possession of first place at 56-41 (17-13 in the second half) on the year. Kannapolis falls to 45-54 (12-17 in the second half) with the loss.
With one out in the eighth and the game tied at twelve, the RiverDogs loaded the bases on a single, a walk and an error against Dustin Umberger (0-1). Two batters later, Arcia's (3-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs) third double of the night brought in the runs that proved to be the difference in this slugfest. Nick Goody ended the game with a perfect ninth inning that included two strikeouts for his third save. Fred Lewis (5-2) threw three innings of relief and held the lead in the eighth to get the win. The Intimidators had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth when they scored one run, but Joe De Pinto was thrown out at the plate by Casey Stevenson to end the threat.
Charleston jumped out to the early lead when they tagged starting pitcher Myles Jaye for four runs in the first inning. Singles by Stevenson (2-3, 3 RBI, 3 runs) and Robert Refsnyder (2-5, 2 RBI, run) each brought in two runs after Jaye had walked the game's first three batters to load the bases. Stevenson made the score 5-0 in the third with a sacrifice fly to score Dante Bichette, Jr., who had doubled.
In the bottom of the third, Kannapolis scored 11 times to erase Charleston's lead and send starter Matt Bashore to the showers. Five straight singles got things started and scored the first two runs. After an out, Leighton Pangilinan lined a single to left to tally two more. Another single, a hit batsman, a passed ball and two walks plated three more runs and finished Bashore, but not the Intimidators. Reliever Dan Mahoney entered with the bases loaded and struck out the first batter he faced, but Grant Buckner (3-6, 5 RBI, 2 runs) plated all three runners by rocketing a double into left for his second hit of the inning. Kevan Smith capped the offensive explosion with an RBI single and the RiverDogs' 5-0 lead had suddenly been transformed into an 11-5 deficit.
Despite falling behind, Charleston wasn't going away. Single runs in the fourth and fifth made the score 11-7 and in the seventh, the RiverDogs lineup went off again and stole the lead back. With one out, a walk and a double put two men on and one run scored on a wild pitch. Following a strikeout and another walk, Cody Grice poked an RBI single into right, bringing up Cito Culver. Culver ripped a two-run triple into center to tie the game and he dented home plate with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. The lead was short-lived, as Buckner drove in his fifth run of the game with a single in the bottom of the seventh, but that was the last time Kannapolis would tie the game.
The 11 runs Charleston allowed in the third inning was the most they have allowed in an inning all year. This wild contest also saw both teams lose a five run lead.
The RiverDogs will be back home on Monday, kicking off a seven-game homestand with a matchup against the Rome Braves. Game one will start at 7:05 pm and Charleston's RHP Brett Gerritse (3-4, 3.89 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Greg Ross (2-7, 5.22 ERA). Beers in the Ashley View Pub will be $1 on Hair of the Dog Monday, sponsored by 98 Rock. Integrative Cancer Care will be featured at the ballpark as part of Dogs With A Cause Night, sponsored by 105.5 FM The Bridge.