Jose Rosario had a solo home run and made a highlight-reel catch for the Charleston RiverDogs, but the Asheville Tourists claimed a 4-1 victory on Thursday evening in front of a season-high 6,687 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs now have a 27-26 record as the Tourists improve to 29-23 after a victory in the series opener. Charleston’s crowd of 6,687 was the largest since the RiverDogs hosted 7,667 fans on July 3, 2013 during one of Alex Rodriguez’s rehab appearances in the Lowcountry.
Asheville quickly registered a 3-0 lead with four straight base hits to open the game. David Dahl and Cesar Galvez began the inning with singles. Raimel Tapia brought in both runners with a triple down the left field line. Tapia scored when Ryan McMahon hit a bloop single to left field. Charleston’s Rookie Davis closed the inning by inducing a double play and recording a strikeout.
Tourists starter Konner Wade kept the RiverDogs scoreless until the fifth inning. With one out, Rosario had a full count against Wade and hit a solo home run that left the ballpark inside the left field foul pole. Rosario’s blast, his second of the year, cut the difference to 3-1.
In the top of the sixth, Galvez added a run to increase Asheville’s lead to 4-1. Galvez followed a leadoff walk from Angel Rincon by stealing second and third. A two-out double by Correlle Prime allowed Galvez to score and give the Tourists a three-run advantage.
Although the RiverDogs did not climb back from the deficit, Charleston still had a number of impressive efforts. In addition to his home run, Rosario also collected a double and caught a foul popup while falling into the Asheville dugout. Michael O’Neill had two outfield assists, throwing out Galvez at home plate during the eighth inning on his best throw. Rincon allowed only one run in a season-high 4.1 innings pitched.
Wade earned the win after seven solid innings and is now 4-5. Davis lost his fifth straight decision, dropping to 2-5. Troy Neiman claimed his second save with two shutout innings.
BALLPARK FUN: As a part of Military Appreciation Night, sponsored by ISHPI, the RiverDogs partnered with the Palmetto Brewery to serve Homefront IPA. This special craft beer, aged with Louisville Slugger baseball bats, was served at the ballpark with all proceeds benefiting Operation Homefront. Following the game, Doug Jones of Simply Syrup performed in a postgame concert by the Beer Garden, presented by Palmetto Brewery and Awendaw Green.
COMING UP: Game two of this four-game series is scheduled for 7:05pm on Friday, featuring RiverDogs RHP Luis Severino (1-1, 3.05 ERA) and Tourists RHP Johendi Jiminian (5-2, 3.31 ERA). Wear red to the game on ISHPI Red Shirt Friday and save $1 off your ticket purchase at the box office or donate that dollar to Canines for Veterans and Folds of Honor. After the contest, another spectacular fireworks display will light up the sky over the scenic Ashley River. It is also Boy Scouts Night at the game, and local Boy Scouts will stay after the fireworks and camp out on the field overnight. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line atwww.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.