Home runs sparked the RiverDogs to early leads in both games as Hoy Jun Park and Isiah Gilliam each went deep to open Charleston's scoring as the RiverDogs swept the Suns in a double-header by finals of 6-1 and 4-2 on Thursday night at Joe Riley Park in front of 5,434 fans.
The RiverDogs (53-43, 19-7) made it five in a row against the Northern Division leading Suns (51-43, 13-12) as Gilliam went 3-for-6 in both games combined, adding his ninth homer of the season and three RBI in the second game of the twin bill.
Game one was all RiverDogs as they started things off with a bang. Park led off the first inning with a homer to right field, his fifth of the season. Center fielder Estevan Florial doubled, then was brought in from a single by catcher Donny Sands to give the RiverDogs a 2-0 lead.
Hagerstown got their only run of the ballgame in the third frame. Left fielder Telmito Agustin singled, then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from center fielder Blake Perkins. Designated hitter Daniel Johnson grounded out to first to bring in Agustin.
Charleston broke it open in the fourth inning. Sands, Gilliam, and left fielder Carlos Vidal got the train moving with three consecutive singles scoring a run. Gilliam scored on a wild pitch then Park collected his second RBI of the ballgame with a single giving the RiverDogs the 6-1 final.
Game two was much tighter. Gilliam homered to left for the RiverDogs first run, but that was erased quickly in the next inning as Johnson clubbed a two-run homer, the Nats prospect’s 17th of the season, to give the Suns their first lead of the season against Charleston.
The RiverDogs tied the game in the sixth. Vidal came in to score on an RBI ground out from catcher Eduardo Navas.
Gilliam continued to do damage in the second game as he helped the RiverDogs take the lead late in the sixth inning. Wagner and Florial singled back to back then the Atlanta Georgia native brought both runners in with a double to left field breaking the 2-2 tie and giving the RiverDogs the lead. Charleston wrapped up the second game 4-2.
David Sosebee got his sixth save of the season as he came in the seventh and recorded the final three outs. Luis Cedeno (2-0, 1.29) got the win as he relieved Perez in the fifth inning.
Each starter for the RiverDogs went at least five innings in both games. Game one starter Nick Green (6-6, 3.90) went 5.2 innings allowing one run on two hits with seven strikeouts and game two starter Freicer Perez went five innings allowing just two runs on three hits. The bullpen combined to log 3 1/3 perfect innings of relief between Hobie Harris, Cedeno, and Sosebee.
It was Throwback Thursday as retro jams were played throughout the games and up in the Ashley View Pub with DJ Natty Heavy as fans came out to enjoy dollar beers presented by 95SX.
Charleston will go for their second sweep of the season in game three tomorrow night at 7:05. Right-hander Nick Nelson (1-6, 4.87) will toe the rubber for the RiverDogs and the Suns will send righty Weston Davis (0-3, 13.50) The game can be tuned into on “The Big Talker” WTMA 1250 AM and online streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs TuneIn Radio app station.