Ground-rule doubles by Michael O’Neill and Dustin Fowler keyed a Charleston RiverDogs comeback attempt, but it came after Teddy Stankiewicz’s seven scoreless innings in a 6-3 Greenville Drive victory on Wednesday night at Fluor Field at the West End in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston is now 30-36 but wins this series by a 2-1 margin after victories on Monday and Tuesday. Greenville scored in each of the first five innings and improves to 31-34 while avoiding the sweep.
Early groundouts and a solo home run guided Greenville to a 3-0 lead over the first three innings. A bases-loaded groundout by Kendrick Perkins in the first inning scored Tzu-Wei Lin. In the second, Lin brought in Jordan Weems with a groundout. Carlos Asuaje led off the third with a blast over the left-center field wall, just to the right of Greenville’s version of the Green Monster.
The Drive stretched its lead to 5-0 by the end of the fifth inning. Forrestt Allday singled to allow Weems to score another run in the fourth inning. RiverDogs starting pitcher Caleb Smith was replaced during the frame, allowing four runs, four hits, and four walks in 3.1 innings pitched. During the fifth, Jimmy Rider’s sacrifice fly plated Aneudis Peralta for a five-run advantage.
Stankiewicz held Charleston at bay as Greenville’s offense did its damage. After O’Neill doubled and Fowler reached on an error to open the game, Stankiewicz retired eight RiverDogs batters in a row. When Fowler snapped the streak with a single in the third inning, Stankiewicz set down the final 13 RiverDogs that he faced. He struck out six and allowed just two hits with no walks over a career-best seven innings pitched.
Mario Alcantara replaced Stankiewicz in the eighth and extended the streak to 15 straight outs until the RiverDogs sliced the lead to 5-2. The streak ended on a two-out double from Gosuke Katoh. O’Neill drove in Katoh with a ground-rule double that canceled out the shutout bid. Fowler’s own ground-rule double scored O’Neill.
Greenville answered Charleston with a run in its half of the eighth for a 6-2 advantage. Rider began the inning by reaching on an error. With one out and the bases loaded, Lin hit a sacrifice fly to score Rider as a late insurance run.
The RiverDogs added one more run in the ninth but fell short. Reymond Nunez doubled off the top of the center field wall and reached third base during a groundout by Jackson Valera. Nunez scored on a John Murphy sacrifice fly before the game ended with a strikeout.
Stankiewicz earned the win and is now 5-4 this season. Smith dropped to 4-6 in a loss.
COMING UP: Charleston stays on the road to start a four-game series at the Lexington Legends on Thursday at 7:05pm. RiverDogs RHP Brady Lail (7-3, 3.82 ERA) is scheduled to pitch against Legends LHP Matt Tenuta (2-6, 5.46 ERA). The RiverDogs will return to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park for the start of the second half. On Thursday, June 19, Charleston will host the Minor League Baseball Game of the Week on CBS Sports Network against the Kannapolis Intimidators on another Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, presented by 95SX, with $1 drafts and DJ Natty Heavy. 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.