Two early triples and Eduardo de Oleo’s first home run of the season sparked the Charleston RiverDogs, but Brandon Thomas’ ninth-inning single was the winner in an 8-7 sweep-clinching victory over the Greenville Drive on Wednesday evening at Fluor Field at the West End in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston’s record stands at 6-7 as Greenville slides down to 7-6. This three-game win streak is the best stretch of the season for the RiverDogs.
On the second pitch of the ballgame, Abiatal Avelino stroked a triple to right field that got the RiverDogs on the move. Avelino went home on a sacrifice fly from Tyler Wade, beating a tag attempt from Greenville catcher Jordan Weems for a 1-0 Charleston lead. The RiverDogs doubled the lead later in the first inning when Miguel Andujar scored on a John Murphy single.
The RiverDogs lead grew to 5-0 in the top of the fourth. Thomas led off the frame with a walk and scored during a Gosuke Katoh triple. Katoh scored when de Oleo cleared Greenville’s version of the Green Monster in left field for a two-run shot that put Charleston up by five.
Greenville started to trim the Charleston lead in the fourth inning. Kevin Mager hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the RiverDogs lead to 5-1. In the fifth, the Drive came within 5-3 after a two-run double by Jantzen Witte off the Monster.
Charleston began a hectic sixth inning by reinforcing its lead. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Wade singled and brought in Katoh and Mikeson Oliberto to give Charleston a 7-3 advantage.
The Drive cut into the Charleston lead in the sixth before tying the contest in the eighth. Jimmy Rider and Bo Greenville had run-scoring singles in a three-run rally that sliced the RiverDogs lead to 7-6. Rider responded again in the eighth with a game-tying single to even the game at 7-all.
Thomas came through in the final inning to put the RiverDogs back in front. After two quick outs, Andujar and Mike Ford extended the inning with a walk and a single, respectively. Thomas drove in Andujar for the go-ahead run on a single that put Charleston ahead 8-7. Greenville was unable to score against Philip Walby, who closed the door on the Drive and the series.
Andury Acevedo received the victory in relief, moving up to 1-0. Taylor Grover lost his Drive debut and fell to 0-1 this season. Walby picked up his first save at the end of the triumph.
COMING UP: Charleston returns to the Lowcountry and hosts a three-game series against the Rome Braves that starts at 7:05pm on Thursday, April 17. The series opener pits RiverDogs RHP Brady Lail (1-1, 5.79 ERA) against Braves LHP Jared Dettmann (0-1, 5.00 ERA). Thursday night at The Joe 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.