Charleston RiverDogs starter Evan Rutckyj baffled the Hickory Crawdads hitters by twirling seven innings of one hit ball with eight strikeouts to lead Charleston to a 3-1 victory over Hickory on Tuesday evening at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 3,046 fans.
With the win, the RiverDogs improve to 21-15 in the second half and 60-44 overall and remain in second place behind the Lexington Legends. With the loss, Hickory falls to 21-17 in the second half and 60-48 overall.
Rutckyj (9-6) needed just 94 pitches to get through seven innings. With the win, Rutckyj now has the team lead with nine victories. He only allowed four baserunners all night, one was a hit, two walks and he also hit a batter.
Reliever Tyler Webb finished things off for Rutckyj pitching the eighth and ninth innings while allowing just a run on a hit and two walks to pick up his second save of the year.
Rutckyj received an offensive backing early. Charleston scored twice in the first inning led by Jake Cave and Reymond Nunez.
Charleston scored once more in the fifth thanks to Jake Cave. Cave was hit by a pitch, got all the way to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by catcher Jorge Alfaro.
Cave finished his night 2-for-3 with two singles, a hit by pitch and two runs scored. Reymond
Nunez was the only other RiverDog to record multiple hits finishing 2-for-3 with two singles, a hit by pitch and an RBI.
Hickory's lone offensive strike came in the ninth when they briefly got to reliever Tyler Webb.
Nomar Mazara had a two out RBI triple for the Crawdads scoring Jorge Alfaro who walked earlier in the inning. Jordan Akins was the only other Crawdad to record a hit all night for Hickory and that came in the top of the sixth inning.
Hickory starter Connor Sadzeck (9-4) took the loss going six innings while allowing three runs, two earned on five hits with five strikeouts and four walks.
BALLPARK FUN: It was Shag Night at Riley Park featuring a pre-game performance from the Beach Music and Shag Preservation Society and DJ Andy Todd.
COMING UP: The finale of this four game set against the Crawdads is set for 12:05pm with the annual Splash Day taking place Wednesday at The Joe. Charleston sends RHP Vicente Campos (1-2, 3.50 ERA) to the mound while Hickory counters with LHP Frank Lopez (2-5, 6.94 ERA). Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.