The Charleston RiverDogs debuted their specially-made seersucker uniforms and staged a late comeback against the Augusta GreenJackets, but the new jerseys did not lead to a victory as Augusta won 3-2 on Sunday in front of 4,312 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs are now 3-7 this season and have lost five consecutive games. The GreenJackets have a 7-4 record after sweeping a four-game series at The Joe.
Both the RiverDogs and the GreenJackets scored in the opening inning. With two outs and two runners aboard, Augusta’s Christian Arroyo hit a single to right field that was misplayed, allowing Brandon Bednar and Devin Harris to score for a 2-0 GreenJackets lead.
Charleston cut that lead in half during the bottom of the first. Abiatal Avelino came in on an Aaron Judge single that brought the RiverDogs within a run. Two batters later, Michael O’Neill hit a fly ball to left-center field that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double, holding Judge at third base. Both runners were stranded in scoring position on an inning-ending fly out.
Augusta pushed its advantage to 3-1 in the fourth inning. Shawn Payne collected a leadoff double and quickly moved to third on a Tyler Horan single. Leonardo Rojas grounded into a force out that scored Payne for the two-run margin.
The RiverDogs bullpen held the GreenJackets scoreless through the final five innings of play. Cesar Vargas struck out four in three shutout innings while Stefan Lopez answered with two clean innings of his own.
GreenJackets starting pitcher Matthew Lujan and reliever Daniel Slania each fired six strikeouts before the RiverDogs started to rally against Raymundo Montero. Tyler Wade and Judge reached and advanced into scoring position on a Mike Ford groundout. A wild pitch scored Wade to cut the deficit to 3-2 while Judge made it to third on the play. However, a strikeout and a groundout ended the game as the RiverDogs left the potential tying run at third base.
Lujan was credited with the victory, improving his record to 2-0. The loss was taken by Charleston’s Caleb Smith, who is now 1-1 this season. Slania picked up a hold before Montero earned his second save.
BALLPARK FUN: Seersucker Sunday included the debut of the RiverDogs’ brand new, specially-made seersucker uniforms, featuring light blue pinstripes, numbers, and “CHARLESTON” script. It was also a big day at The Joe for the children in attendance as it was Kids Opening Day, with 1,000 free youth t-shirts given away courtesy of Vapor Apparel and Pepsi presented Kids Eat Free vouchers for the contest.
COMING UP: Charleston begins a three-game road trip at Greenville on Monday evening at 7:05 pm. The RiverDogs will call on RHP Rookie Davis (1-0, 2.70 ERA) to pitch against Drive LHP Cody Kukuk (1-0, 3.38). After the road series, Charleston will return to the Lowcountry and host a three-game set against the Rome Braves that starts on Thursday, April 17 at 7:05pm at The Joe. Thursday’s homestand opener will be another Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX, complete with DJ Natty Heavy, $1 drafts, and a Wild Wing Café wing-eating contest in the Ashley View Pub. The Dunder Chiefs will perform a postgame concert adjacent to the Beer Garden thanks to Palmetto Brewery and Awendaw Green. 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 worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.