The Charleston RiverDogs twice squandered chances with the bases loaded and stranded ten men total as the Columbia Fireflies hung on to win, 3-1, on Friday night’s opener from Spirit Communications Park.
Left fielder Dalton Blaser continued his hot streak, recording his fourth multi-hit game in nine games with the RiverDogs, going 2-for-3 with a walk. The former Cal State Fullerton Titan has hit .370 (10-for-27) since a May 30 call up from extended spring training. The loss marks the second consecutive defeat for the RiverDogs (30-30) following a four-game winning streak that matched a season-high.
Charleston lefty Phillip Diehl (6-2, 4.00) struggled with command throughout the night, and gave up his first mistake to Columbia (33-25) center fielder Desmond Lindsay who served up a solo homer to left, his sixth of the season, to lead off the second and make it 1-0 Fireflies.
Diehl walked a total of four batters across 4.2 innings, but it didn’t come back to burn him until the fifth. A two-out walk of Luis Carpio scored as part of a two-run double by former Coastal Carolina Chanticleer second baseman Michael Paez that made it 3-0 Columbia and chased the RiverDogs lefty from the game.
After stranding the bases loaded in the fifth, Charleston got on the board in the eighth. Center fielder Estevan Florial walked to lead off the frame before Diego Castillo singled on a ground ball to right field. On the play, Florial rounded second, but was cut down at third on a throw in by former Gamecock Gene Cone after over sliding the bag. After third baseman Angel Aguilar grounded out, right fielder Isiah Gilliam beat out an infield single to put Charleston on the board and make it 3-1.
After plating the run, catcher Donny Sands singled up the middle to chase the Columbia starter. Adonis Uceta walked Blaser to load up the bases, but Oswaldo Cabrera grounded out to first to end the threat.
Trevor Lane and Hobie Harris continued the RiverDogs’ bullpen dominance, yielding just one hit across 3 1/3 shutout innings.
Righty Herol Gonzalez (3-4, 4.34) garnered the win for Columbia, striking out six and walking two over 7 2/3 innings.
-per Charleston RiverDogs