The Charleston RiverDogs continued to struggle in day games as they dropped their 10th early start of the season, falling 5-3 on an Education Day in front of 5,634 young fans at Joe Riley Park on Wednesday afternoon.
With their second consecutive loss, the RiverDogs (26-26) will be at least 5.5 games back of first-place Greenville heading into a four-game series against their in-state foe at Fluor Field starting Thursday night. Charleston is now just 1-10 in games starting prior to 5pm this season.
Charleston starter Nick Nelson (0-5, 5.91) started off solid setting down the first six batters he faced, and he didn’t allow a hit until the fourth.
Charleston took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as right fielder Isiah Gilliam scored on an RBI single from shortstop Diego Castillo.
The Power (24-25) rattled Nelson for three runs in the fourth. The Panama City Fla. native walked back to back batters then surrendered his first home run of the season to third baseman Trae Arbet that scored three.
Walks continued to hurt Nelson in the fifth. He allowed his fifth of the day to left fielder Ty Moore and it came back to haunt him as right fielder Clark Eagan singled making it 4-1.
Adonis Rosa came in for relief in the sixth surrendered a solo shot to second baseman Kevin Mahala that gave the Power a 5-1 lead.
Charleston came close in the sixth inning. Left fielder Estevan Florial singled and stole second then advanced to third on an infield single by third baseman Angel Aguilar. Second baseman Hoy Jun Park singled on the infield with a tapper to drive in Florial. Catcher Donny Sands hit a sacrifice fly that brought the RiverDogs within two.
Oddy Nunez (1-4, 3.76) came in for relief of starter James Marvel in the fourth inning and after allowing two runs in the sixth, he set down the last 12 batters in a row to get his first win of the season.
Hobie Harris worked a perfect inning of relief in the ninth for Charleston.
It was the final Education Day of the season as the RiverDogs welcomed schools from the Lowcountry area for a day game at The Joe. The winning second grade classes of the RiverDogs and CCSD’s “Reading Around the Bases” were also recognized.
Charleston hits the road for a crucial series verses the division leader Greenville Drive in a four-game series starting Thursday night at 7:05 from Fluor Field. Right hander Nick Green (3-3, 3.02) will toe the rubber for the Holy City and the Drive will send lefty Robby Sexton (0-5, 5.12).