Cito Culver reached base three times and drove in the eventual winning run as the Charleston RiverDogs squeaked by the Hagerstown Suns 4-3 on Thursday night in South Atlantic League action at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 3,715.
The RiverDogs evened this four game series at one game apiece and moved 61-53 (22-25 in the second half). The Suns are now 67-49 (25-22 in the second half) so far this season. The victory also snapped an eight game home losing streak for Charleston.
"It was nice to finally get a big win at home," said RiverDogs manager Carlos Mendoza. "That was a fantastic outing by Corey Black. I was really impressed by the way he threw the ball. The sacrifice fly by Gamel got it started and then we got some timely hitting. That was a big win for us."
Charleston's Corey Black and Hagerstown's Blake Schwartz (1-1) each kept the opposing offenses in check until the Suns broke through in the fourth on an RBI single by Matthew Skole. They notched a second run in the fifth when Adrian Nieto doubled and scored on a single by Brett Newsome.
Black (1-0) stopped Hagerstown there and only allowed two runs in six innings along with four hits, one walk and five strikeouts. He pitched well enough to earn his first win in professional baseball.
The RiverDogs erased their deficit in the bottom of the fifth by rallying for three runs. Ben Gamel brought in the first run by scalding a sacrifice fly to left. Saxon Butler (2-4, 2 RBI) then put his team ahead when he lined a two-run double into right. Culver (1-1, 2 BB, RBI, run) added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make the score 4-2. With a single and two walks, Culver reached base for the 27th consecutive game.
In the eighth, Hagerstown cut the lead to one when a run scored on a double play, but they couldn't tie the game. Nick Goody made sure of that, as he threw a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save.