Charleston starter Cesar Vargas starred on the mound for the RiverDogs propelling them to a series sweep of the Hickory Crawdads with a 5-1 victory at L.P. Frans Stadium in South Atlantic League action. The win is Charleston's sixth consecutive victory.
With the win, the RiverDogs improve to 18-11 in the second half and 57-40 overall. Charleston sits just 1.5 games behind the Lexington Legends. With the loss, the Crawdads have now dropped their sixth straight taking their record to 16-15 in the second half and 55-46 overall.
Vargas (4-3) gave the RiverDogs seven strong innings Tuesday night as he allowed just one run on four hits with four strikeouts to earn the win. The lone run Vargas allowed didn't come across until his final inning of work. He sat Hickory down 1-2-3 five of his seven innings pitched.
Vargas was relieved to start the bottom of the eighth by righty John Brebbia who retired all three men he faced. Lefty James Pazos closed the door on the Crawdads by pitching a perfect bottom of the ninth with one strikeout.
Offensively, Charleston got on the board for the first time in the third inning on an RBI single by Cito Culver to score Danny Oh. Culver finished the game 2-for-5 with two singles and an RBI. Eight of the nine RiverDogs starters recorded at least one hit Tuesday night.
The RiverDogs were back at it in the top of the fourth inning. Dante Bichette Jr. drew a leadoff walk and advanced all the way to third two batters later on a double by Jake Cave. Bichette Jr., then came around to scored with Wes Wilson at the plate on a wild pitch by Hickory's starter Luis Parra.
Wes Wilson scored the ‘Dogs third run of the game in the sixth inning. The catcher reached base on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on an error by the second baseman and then came all the way home on two straight wild pitches. Charleston's final two runs came across in the eighth inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Jake Cave and Wes Wilson.
Cave was 2-for-4 on the night with a single, double, a run scored and an RBI. Wes Wilson went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored as he reached base three times on the evening.
Hickory starter Luis Parra (5-4) took the loss Tuesday as the lefty went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned on seven hits to go along with six strikeouts, two walks and three wild pitches.
The Crawdads lone run came in the bottom of the seventh inning. Following a one out triple by Nick Williams, Ryan Rua came to the plate and singled Williams home to avoid being shutout.
Charleston will take Wednesday off before starting an eight game homestand that features the Greensboro Grasshoppers and these same Hickory Crawdads. Thursday marks the series opener of four games against the Grasshoppers. Charleston will send LHP Evan Rutckyj (8-6, 4.72 ERA) to the mound as Greensboro counters with RHP Daniel Oliver (2-3, 5.05 ERA). Tickets for Thursday's game may be purchased by visiting www.riverdogs.com or by call (843) 577-3647. You can listen to each and every game live locally on ESPN 910 AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.