In a contest that was back-and-forth for the first three innings, Asheville emphatically took the lead for good, hanging a 10-spot in the bottom of the third to cruise past the Charleston RiverDogs 13-9 in Thursday night’s series finale from McCormick Field.
The Tourists (37-46, 8-7) sent 15 men to the plate in the decisive third frame, rattling off nine hits and scoring the most runs in a single inning against the RiverDogs (43-41, 9-5) since July 22, 2012 when Kannapolis scored 11 in a one inning against Charleston.
RiverDogs third baseman Mandy Alvarez had a day, going 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI in the second straight game that featured at least 19 runs and at least 28 hits between the two divisional foes. Despite the loss, Charleston holds a share of first place in the Southern Division standings with Lexington going into Friday.
First baseman Brandon Wagner matched a career-high collecting four RBI, including roping his third home run of the season, a three-run shot that gave the RiverDogs a brief 5-3 lead in the top of the third before Asheville answered with the big inning.
Charleston took the initial lead in the second inning. After Isiah Gilliam and Wagner singled with one out, Alvarez notched his first double to drive in a run and designated hitter Ben Ruta drove in another on a sharp groundout to first, making it 2-0 RiverDogs.
The Tourists took advantage of shaky command by Austin DeCarr (L, 1-1) in the second to take their first lead. Bobby Wernes was put aboard via the leadoff walk, DH Max George followed with a single, Taylor Snyder traded places on a fielder’s choice, and Joel Diaz walked before left fielder Jacob Bosiokovic tied the game with single to center. Second baseman Carlos Herrera gave Asheville the lead with an RBI groundout.
DeCarr was chased in the third inning and walked a career-high five batters for the second consecutive outing. The RiverDogs starter yielded eight runs, all earned, on four hits with two strikeouts to take his first loss of the year.
Asheville righty Antonio Santos (W, 4-8) gave up five runs across six innings to salvage a win.
The RiverDogs head home to start a four-game homestand facing the Columbia Fireflies, the Class A affiliate of the New York Mets. Charleston will send their Opening Night starter, right-hander Nick Green (4-6, 3.95) as the Fireflies counter with righty Thomas McIlraith (2-0, 0.00). The game can be tuned in on “The Big Talker” WTMA 1250 AM, video via MiLB.tv, and online streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the TuneIn Radio app under the Charleston RiverDogs station.