The Charleston RiverDogs (8-7) got off to a hot start yet again in Hickory (9-7) leading by as many as six runs, all to see it come undone as they fell to the Crawdads 10-9 Saturday night at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory, North Carolina.
Charleston led 8-2 after six innings of play and looked like they were on cruise control to their ninth victory of the season. However, the Crawdads behind their home crowd struck for three runs in the seventh, four in the eighth and their game winning walk-off run in the bottom of the ninth off of reliever Charles Short (0-1). The RiverDogs had Short, along with Ben Paullus and Phillip Wetherell come out of the bullpen Saturday in relief of starter Daniel Camarena; the three relievers gave up a combined eight runs on seven hits in four innings of work.
RiverDogs starter Daniel Camarena lasted a season best five-innings, as he allowed two runs on three hits, he walked two and struck-out four. Camarena also hit a batter and both runs he allowed were via the long ball. The lefty Camarena lowered his ERA from 12.86 to an even nine.
Offensively, eight of the nine RiverDogs starters registered a hit including outfielder Danny Oh (1-4), who had an RBI single in the fifth inning to see his hitting streak reach a season high four games. Second Baseman Claudio Custodio was the lone RiverDog to not register a hit and as a result saw his four game hitting streak come to an end.
Hickory starter Kelvin Vasquez had a rough outing to say the least. The right-hander lasted a season worst two-thirds of an inning, as he allowed five runs all earned on one hit. He walked four, struck-out one, had a wild pitch and also surrendered a homer. Due to Vasquez's short start, Hickory was forced to use six pitchers which may come back to haunt them for Sunday's doubleheader. Josh McElwee (2-0) backed into the victory Saturday after he blew the save in the top of the ninth with one run allowed on no hits and two walks.
The Crawdads strong offense showed up late again to bail out Hickory and lead them to a come from behind victory. The Crawdads got on the board in the bottom of the first with a pair of solo homers and then went scoreless until the seventh. Hickory twice left the bases loaded to end the fifth and seventh innings. Nick Williams and Ryan Rua led the Crawdads with two homers each and a combined six RBI's.
The RiverDogs and Crawdads close out their four-game series Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader starting at 2 pm in Hickory. Game one is a make-up of Friday's game which was rained out, while game two is the regularly scheduled game. Both games are scheduled for seven-innings with game two starting a half-hour after game one finishes. Pitching probable's for game one are RHP Cesar Vargas (1-0, 3.52 ERA) for the RiverDogs, as Hickory counters with fellow RHP C.J. Edwards (1-1, 2.51 ERA). For game two, Charleston plans to start RHP Rafael DePaula (0-2, 5.11 ERA) and the Crawdads will go with fellow righty Connor Sadzeck (2-0, 2.35 ERA).