Charleston RiverDogs starting pitcher Cesar Vargas (3-3) tossed seven, one hit, shutout innings to lead the RiverDogs past the Augusta GreenJackets 2-0 at Lake Olmstead Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
With the victory, the RiverDogs improve to 8-7 in the second half and move into a second place tie with Augusta. Overall the RiverDogs record sits at 47-36. With the loss, the GreenJackets drop to 8-7 in the second half and 46-38 overall.
Cesar Vargas went a season best seven innings and allowed no runs on a hit, while striking out three and walking four. The seven innings for the righty is the most thrown by a RiverDog all season. Right-hander Ben Paullus came in to relieve Vargas to start the bottom of the eighth and recorded the final six outs to earn his team leading fifth save of the season. Paullus struckout the final four batters he faced, all of them looking, and also walked one to shut the door on the GreenJackets.
The Charleston bats struck early Friday for a run in the first inning. With two outs, Greg Bird drew a walk and came around to score on the very next at-bat when Angelo Gumbs slugged an RBI double into the left center gap.
The RiverDogs second and final run of the game came across in the top of the eighth inning just before the rain came. Following a groundout by catcher Jackson Valera, Jake Cave singled for his first hit of the evening. Cito Culver came up next and doubled down the left field line advancing Cave to third base. With Greg Bird at the plate, Augusta reliever Mason McVay threw a wild pitch to the backstop scoring Cave from third and advancing Culver from second to third. After the wild pitch, the ump's met and called for the tarp as both teams sat through a 40 minute rain delay.
Augusta starter Martin Agosta (7-3) took the hard luck loss as the right-hander lasted 4.2 innings, allowed only one run on fours hits with three strikeouts. Agosta was making his first start since June 22 after coming off the disabled list in time for Friday night's contest. GreenJackets reliever Brandon Farley came in to relieve Agosta and tossed two innings that saw him allow just two hits with a strikeout and a walk. Mason McVay tossed two-thirds of an inning and allowed a run on two hits. Following the rain delay, McVay hit Greg Bird and that signaled the end for McVay's day. He was relieved by right hander Jorge Bucardo who got the final five outs for the GreenJackets.
Game three of this four game series against the GreenJackets is scheduled for 7:05pm Saturday at Lake Olmstead Stadium in Augusta. Charleston sends LHP Evan Rutckyj (7-5, 4.93 ERA) to the mound as Augusta counters with RHP Chris Stratton (7-3, 3.81 ERA). You can listen to the game live locally on ESPN 910 AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.