In another low scoring pitcher's duel, the RiverDogs were able to capitalize on a few mistakes by the Greensboro Grasshoppers to top their foes by a final of 3-2 on Saturday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 3,687 fans on Christmas In July night.
With the win, the RiverDogs improve to 20-12 in the second half and 59-41 overall. With the loss, Greensboro drops to 16-18 in the second half and 49-54 overall.
The Charleston offense struck first yet again Saturday night. Jake Cave led off the bottom of the first by reaching on an error by Greensboro first baseman Viosergy Rosa. Cave was caught stealing second with Cito Culver at the plate. Following the caught stealing, Culver reached on an error by shortstop Anthony Gomez and then Greg Bird hit a ground rule double to put runners at first and third for Dante Bichette, Jr. Bichette, Jr. struckout swinging and as the ball got away from the catcher, Culver broke for home and scored as Bichette was thrown out at first.
Greensboro got even in the top of the third inning with a Juancito Martinez double plating Jose Behar who reached earlier in the evening on a walk.
The RiverDogs took the lead for good in the fourth scoring two runs. Greg Bird led the inning off with a walk and then Dante Bichette, Jr singled advancing Bird to third. With runners at the corners Greensboro starter Ramon Del Orbe balked scoring Greg Bird and advancing Bichette, Jr. to third. Reymond Nunez singled later in the fourth to bring in Bichette, Jr. for the RiverDogs final run.
Greensboro tried to mount a comeback but couldn't get anything going offensively. The Grasshoppers scored their second and final run on a one out solo homer by Matt Juengel in the top of the eighth inning.
RiverDogs starter Brett Gerritse (8-5) became the staff's first eight game winner as he tossed five innings and allowed a run on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks. James Pazos received the hold with two scoreless frames in relief allowing just one hit with a strikeout. Tyler Webb picked up the six out save and allowed a run on one hit with three strikeouts for his first save as a RiverDog.
Greensboro starter Ramon Del Orbe (5-7) took the loss pitching seven innings and he allowed three runs, two earned on nine hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
BALLPARK FUN: It was Christmas in July at The Joe as the park was decorated with festive decorations, Christmas music played over the loud speakers and the big man Santa Claus even made an appearance. Charleston wore special jerseys that were auctioned off after the game with the money raised going to the Salvation Army.
COMING UP: The finale of this four game set against Greensboro is Sunday night at 5:05 at The Joe. LHP Daniel Camarena (3-4, 4.63 ERA) will be on the mound for Charleston and Greensboro will start RHP Austin Brice (6-7, 5.78 ERA). Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.