Rookie Davis pitched five shutout innings and struck out five to key the Charleston RiverDogs to a 5-1 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets on Thursday evening at Lake Olmstead Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
Davis’s shutout performance carried the RiverDogs to a 1-0 start for the 2014 season. This marks the first season opener that Charleston has won since 2011 when the RiverDogs claimed a 6-1 road victory against the Lexington Legends.
Augusta starter Chase Johnson locked up with Davis to keep the contest scoreless through the first four innings. Mike Ford collected two singles against Johnson and Gosuke Katoh singled and reached third base in the third inning as Johnson held the RiverDogs back. Davis retired the first six batters he faced and stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the early innings.
Charleston loaded the bases in the fifth inning and scored three runs with some help from the GreenJackets. The RiverDogs went up 1-0 when Luis Torrens came in from third on a fly out from Tyler Wade that was coupled with a throwing error by Augusta left fielder Christian Paulino.
Katoh added to the lead after scoring on a wild pitch from Johnson, which was followed by an Abiatal Avelino double that plated Michael O’Neill for a 3-0 RiverDogs advantage.
The RiverDogs brought in another run during the sixth inning. Ford walked and advanced into scoring position when Torrens was hit by a pitch from Augusta reliever Raymond Black. Ford reached third base on a balk and scored when Black threw a wild pitch.
Augusta scored its lone run in the home half of the sixth. Cesar Vargas relieved Davis and picked up two quick outs before Christian Arroyo tripled to left field. Arroyo scored as Ryan Tuntland reached on an error to cut Charleston’s lead to 4-1.
Charleston closed the scoring in the top of the eighth, plating Ford on a triple by Miguel Andujar. Ford led all players with three base hits on a trio of singles.
Vargas recorded four strikeouts in three innings with a double play turned by Avelino, Katoh, and Ford keeping the GreenJackets at bay. Philip Walby replaced Vargas and struck out the side to wrap up the RiverDogs win.
Davis earned the victory for Charleston to improve to 1-0 this season. Johnson was charged with the loss for Augusta, falling to 0-1 after allowing three earned runs in five frames.
COMING UP: Game two of this four-game series will see Charleston send out RHP Luis Severino (0-0, 0.00) to face Augusta LHP Luis Ysla (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm on Friday. Following the end of this series in Augusta, Charleston will return to The Joe for a seven-game homestand that starts on Monday, April 7. The RiverDogs host the Greenville Drive for Charleston’s grand Opening Night celebration, complete with $1 hot dogs and $1 beers presented by Coors. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.