RiverDogs infielder Hoy Jun Park collected two hits, homered to give Charleston the lead in the second, and roared around third to score the winning run on Donny Sands’ strikeout in the 10th inning in a wild walk-off win, 5-4, over Columbia in front of a crowd of 4,842 on Monday night at Joe Riley Park.
With the game tied at four apiece heading into the 10th, Park drew a leadoff walk in the home half of the extra frame and was sacrificed over on a bunt by Diego Castillo. Sands chased a 2-2 fastball upstairs on a wild pitch that Columbia backstop Dan Rizzie chased down and threw wide of first base that allowed Park to score in unceremonious walk off fashion. It was Charleston's (58-48, 24-12) first walk off since May 26 against Greenville and their fifth of the season that improves their league best record in the second half.
After committing an error in the first inning that led to a Columbia (55-49, 15-21) run and striking out in his first at-bat, Park put an 0-for-20 skid behind him in the second by clubbing his sixth homer of the season giving the RiverDogs (58-48, 24-12) an early 3-2 lead, simultaneously setting a new single season career-high in homers for the 21-year-old native of Seoul, South Korea.
Most of the scoring came early on as Columbia (55-49, 15-21) took the lead right away in the first. Shortstop Andres Gimenez led off the frame with a single then came into score from a triple off the bat of center fielder Jacob Zanon who came into score on the same play as Park’s attempt to catch him at third went wild into the stands and Zanon was awarded home plate from the error.
The RiverDogs gained the lead in the third. Left fielder Carlos Vidal led off the inning with a single then advanced to second on a sac bunt from first baseman Vince Conde. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Vidal came into scored from center fielder Pablo Olivares's first RBI as a RiverDog with a sac fly to left field. DH Chris Hess singled to set up the Park longball.
Charleston tacked on one more crucial insurance run in the fifth as they loaded the bases with no one out but only brought across one on a double play from third baseman Oswaldo Cabrera.
Columbia tied the game in the eighth. Gimenez tripled to score right fielder Arnaldo Berrios following a leadoff single. Berrios scored as Rizzie blooped a single to center to pull the game even.
RiverDogs starter Adonis Rosa went six innings and allowed two runs on five hits but did not factor in the decision. Christian Morris came in for relief in the seventh and ran into trouble in the eighth. He surrendered two runs on three hits. David Sosebee inherited a bases loaded situation in the eighth and pitched out of the jam and went 2 2/3 before Luis Cedeno (4-0) got the win after facing just one batter.
Matt Blackham gave up the unearned run in the 10th and took the loss for the Fireflies.
The RiverDogs threw back to a time when they were known as the Charleston Rainbows by wearing retro jerseys. In partnership with MUSC Health and Charleston PRIDE, the RiverDogs recognized impactful individuals around the community during a pre-game ceremony. It was also Monday Dog Day presented by Busch Light and STAR 99.7.
Charleston will play game two of the series tomorrow night at 7:05. The RiverDogs will send right-hander Nick Green (7-6, 3.88) to face Columbia’s righty Gabriel Llanes (4-9, 3.64). The game can be tuned into on “The Big Talker” WTMA 1250 AM and online with video on MiLB.tv and online streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs TuneIn Radio app station.