The Greensboro Grasshoppers jumped out to an early 3-1 lead and would hold on to defeat the Charleston RiverDogs by a final of 4-3 Wednesday evening at NewBridge Bank Park in South Atlantic League action.
With the loss, the RiverDogs fall to 12-11 in the second half and 51-40 overall. With the victory, the Grasshoppers improve to 13-12 in the second half and 46-48 overall.
Following a scoreless top of the first inning, Greensboro would get on the board first with two outs in the bottom of the first, as Colin Moran belted a solo homer for the early 1-0 lead. Moran was making his professional debut after being selected by the Miami Marlins with the sixth overall pick in this year's draft out of the University of North Carolina. Moran finished his night 1-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk.
Charleston answered with a run of their own on a RBI groundout by Aaron Gates in the top half of the second inning scoring Jake Cave. Cave doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a groundout by Reymond Nunez.
The Greensboro bats were back at it in the bottom half of the second inning as two more runs would come across on a two-run homer by Jose Behar, his first of the season.
In the top of the third, the RiverDogs struck for two runs to tie the game at three. Charleston started the inning off with four straight singles plating both Danny Oh and Cito Culver for the RiverDogs final runs of the evening. Charleston was led offensively by Danny Oh, Cito Culver and Angelo Gumbs who each had a pair of singles on the night.
The games winning run came across in the bottom of the fourth inning for the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Following a leadoff single by Viosergy Rosa, he would then steal second during the next at-bat. Rosa would come around to score a few batters later on an RBI single by Cameron Flynn.
Grasshoppers starter Austin Brice (6-6) picked up the win as he went 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Jheyson Manzuetta relieved Austin Brice in the sixth and went 1.2 innings in relief and allowed just one hit and recorded one strikeout. Manzuetta then gave way to Mason Hope who allowed a hit, one walk and hit a batter in his 1.2 innings of work. Picking up the final out was Frankie Reed to earn his 12th save of the season.
RiverDogs starter Daniel Camarena (2-4) took the loss, but was able to give Charleston five innings Wednesday night. He allowed four runs on five hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Camarena was relieved by Adam Smith to start the sixth and Smith lasted two innings, as he allowed no hits but walked one and struckout two. Derek Varnadore pitched the eighth inning for the RiverDogs and allowed a walk and struckout one.
Game two of this three game series against the Grasshoppers is scheduled for 7pm Thursday at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro. Charleston sends RHP Cesar Vargas (3-3, 3.21 ERA) to the mound as Greensboro counters with LHP Chad James (1-2, 5.51 ERA). You can listen to the game live locally on ESPN 910 AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.