Charleston RiverDogs starter Rafael DePaula stuck-out 11 batters as the RiverDogs took game one of Saturday's doubleheader by a final of 6-2 in nine-innings over the Greenville Drive. In game two, Charleston (1-2) struck first with three runs in the top of the first, but Greenville (2-1) responded with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame en route to an 8-4 win in seven-innings at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, SC.
Charleston got on the board first with a pair of runs in the second-inning. After two strike-outs to start the frame, Peter O'Brien and Saxon Butler had back-to-back doubles which scored O'Brien. Butler would come around to score on Taylor Dugas' RBI single in his first at-bat of the season.
RiverDogs starter Rafael DePaula was strong in game one, going four and a third innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out 11 and walking only one batter. DePaula threw 71 pitches in his RiverDogs debut, with 49 of them going as strikes.
Unfortunately for DePaula, he didn't pitch long enough to factor into the decision, but reliever Alex Smith (1-0) did. Smith relieved DePaula and went three and two-thirds of an inning, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out four and walking none.
Offensively the RiverDogs were led by 1B Saxon Butler who went 2-4 with an RBI double, a single and he also walked once. The RiverDogs offense came in bunches in game one, with Charleston scoring two in the second and their final four runs in the ninth.
Greenville starter Pat Light lasted only two innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three. Reliever Braeden Kapteyn received the loss for the Drive as he threw two innings in relief, allowing three runs on no hits while walking three.
Game two of the doubleheader was a completely different story. Charleston struck first in the top of the first inning with three runs, but Greenville responded with four runs in the bottom half of the first inning and never looked back.
Greenville starter Austin Maddox locked in after a rough first inning as Maddox would last a total of four innings, allowing four runs; three earned while striking-out five and walking one. Picking-up the win for the Drive was reliever Jeffrey Wendelken (1-0), who threw three shut-out innings in relief to pick-up his first victory of the season.
Greenville was led offensively by 2B Bryan Johns and LF Aneury Tavarez. Johns was 2-for-3 with a single, double, walk and a run scored. Tavarez had a pair of RBI doubles and two runs scored.
Charleston starter and former Auburn Tiger product Derek Varnadore (0-1) allowed five runs; four of them earned on six hits in only two innings of work. The good news for the RiverDogs, is that only RHP Phillip Wetherell had to be used out of the bullpen. With that being said, Charleston will have fresh arms now in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.
1B Gregory Bird led the offensive charger for the RiverDogs in game two. Bird finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a pair of singles, a double and he also was credited with an RBI.
These two teams have battled through the first three games of this series and will square off in the finale on Sunday with the start time scheduled for 4:05 pm. RHP Gabe Encinas (NR) will take the ball for the RiverDogs against LHP Brian Johnson (NR), who gets the starting nod for the Drive.