The RiverDogs came up one run shy of rallying from 11-0 down as the Fireflies managed to hold on to a 11-10 win with the tying run in scoring position left stranded as Columbia evened up the series with a nail-biting win in front of 2,937 on Tuesday night at Joe Riley Park.
Right fielder Isiah Gilliam collected a double and a homer while driving in four, both in an incredible sixth inning when Charleston (58-49, 24-13) scored a season-high eight runs. Newcomer Dermis Garcia slammed a homer to dead center for his first RiverDogs hit to help the RiverDogs score twice in the ninth. Carlos Vidal’s RBI single brought the RiverDogs on the brink of a historic comeback before Diego Castillo flew out to center to end the ballgame with the tying run at second.
First baseman Brandon Wagner continued his dangerous hitting as he went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. He is now hitting .354 in the second half.
RiverDogs pitching struck out 16 batters and the bullpen surrendered just two of the 11 total runs.
Charleston got to work on Columbia (56-49, 16-21) starter Gabriel Llanes (5-9) in the sixth, sending 13 men to the plate in the inning and pounding out eight hits and eight runs in their biggest inning of the year. Gilliam opened the scoring with a two-run jack to right, his team-leading 12th of the season, and Charleston had nine men reach in a row with two outs, capped off by Gilliam’s two-run double.
Columbia tagged Charleston starter Nick Green (7-7) for nine runs in the first three innings with the Colorado right-hander exiting after eight outs and making way for Austin DeCarr who promptly yielded a three-run homer to shortstop Luis Carpio that pushed Columbia’s lead out to 10-0. The Fireflies plated what ended up being a key insurance run in the fifth when Dan Rizzie doubled home Carpio’s leadoff triple.
Llanes got his fifth win of the season as he worked five and two-thirds, allowing eight runs on ten hits.
Garrett Mundell and Hobie Harris combined for four scoreless innings of relief.
The RiverDogs celebrated some of the most popular conspiracy theories as part of a Trendy Tuesday presented by MAGIC 107.3, Landshark, and Harris Teeter. It was also police night as the Charleston Police Department came out with some top-notch crime vehicles that were displayed for public viewing.
Charleston will wrap up the series tomorrow night at 7:05. The RiverDogs will send right-hander Freicer Perez (7-3, 2.82) to face Columbia’s righty Justin Brantly (0-0, 4.70) in the rubber match of the three-game tilt. The game can be tuned into on “The Big Talker” WTMA 1250 AM, on MiLB.tv, and online streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs TuneIn Radio app station.