RiverDogs starter Nick Nelson delivered with a seven-inning gem, but the Charleston bats couldn’t match the Florida right-hander, as the RiverDogs were edged, 1-0, by the Greenville Drive in front of 5,008 on Thursday night at Joe Riley Park.
The Yankees’ fourth round pick in last June’s draft, Nelson (0-4, 5.70) took a tough luck loss to fall to 0-7 in his minor league career as the RiverDogs couldn’t provide any run support for the Panama City, Fla. native’s best outing of the year. Nelson went six innings for just the second time in his career while fanning seven with no walks.
Greenville (29-16) added their lone tally in the top of the first to get things underway. Second baseman Santiago Espinal lofted a bloop double down the right field line before coming around to score on a two-out single by left fielder Tyler Hill.
Lefty Logan Boyd (6-1, 3.49) matched Nelson pitch-for-pitch on the mound for the Drive, turning in six scoreless innings with just three hits allowed. The Sam Houston State product struck out four while walking a pair to pick up the win.
Charleston had a golden opportunity to push a run across in the eighth. Carlos Vidal laid down a bunt single to lead off before advancing on an Estevan Florial ground out. Diego Castillo battled before hit a ground ball to short that was mishandled by Carlos Tovar for an error that put runners at the corners with one out. After the defensive mishap, the Drive turned to closer Stephen Nogosek who walked Hoy Jun Park to load the bases, but followed up with a strikeout of Blake Rutherford and groundball off the bat of Donny Sands to end the threat.
Nogosek recorded the final five outs for Greenville to garner his South Atlantic League leading 10th save of the season and hand Charleston their fourth shutout loss of the year.
David Sosebee notched three scoreless innings out of the bullpen to keep the RiverDogs within striking distance down the stretch.
The RiverDogs opened up the homestand on a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX as fans 21 and older enjoyed dollar beers in the Budweiser Ashley View Pub and along with the scintillating tunes of DJ Natty Heavy. It was also Delivery Guy night at The Joe as the club honored the best pizza guys, Chinese takeout heroes, paper boys, and more throughout the evening’s festivities.
The RiverDogs continue the Spinx Battle of the Palmetto State with game two against Greenville on Friday night at 7:05pm. Charleston will send right-hander Nick Green (3-3, 3.40) to toe the slab. The Drive will counter with 18-year-old right-hander Bryan Mata making his South Atlantic League debut. The game will be broadcast on WTMA 1250 AM and online streaming via the TuneIn radio app starting at 7pm from The Joe.