Blake Rutherford went 2-for-4 with an RBI single to open the scoring in the first inning and closer Garrett Mundell pinned down the win with a four-out save as the RiverDogs won their fourth consecutive home game with a 3-2 victory at Joe Riley Park on Sunday evening in front of 4,333 fans.
The four-game winning streak ties the longest home winning streak and longest winning stretch overall this season for Charleston (46-39, 12-5) who build a two-game lead over Lexington in the Southern Division second half standings. After dropping six consecutive games to their in-state rivals, the RiverDogs have now won the last five contests of the Palmetto State Subway Series.
The RiverDogs jumped on Fireflies (46-41, 6-10) starter Gary Cornish (1-2, 3.42) in the first and second innings to the Columbia starter fresh off a stint on the disabled list and making just his fourth start of the year. Shortstop Hoy Jun Park singled then stole second. Rutherford brought in Park with a single. In the second, left fielder Ben Ruta walked the right fielder Carlos Vidal increased his hitting streak to eight with a single that put runners at the corners. Catcher Ryan Lidge roped a single to right that put the RiverDogs up 2-0.
Nick Nelson yielded his only run in the second inning. Right fielder Ian Strom tripled to lead off the frame before scoring on a wild pitch by the RiverDogs starter.
Needing insurance runs, designated hitter Isiah Gilliam plated second baseman Diego Castillo with a single to left field to make it 3-1.
Columbia brought it within one in the eighth inning. Left fielder Jay Jabs doubled the catcher Dan Rizzie singled to put runners at the corners. Strom singled to score the run making it 3-2 but thats as far as they would get as Mundell was called on to work a four out save for his 10th of the year.
Phillip Diehl (8-2, 4.31) got the win for Charleston as he came in for relief of Nelson in the fifth inning. Diehl work two scoreless innings, surrendering just one hit with five strikeouts.
Cornish suffered his second loss of the season after going four and a third innings, allowing two runs on seven hits.
-per Charleston RiverDogs