The RiverDogs walked off for the second time in three games as designated hitter Isiah Gilliam roped a single up the middle in the tenth inning to bring in the winning run from third as Charleston topped Columbia 4-3 on Wednesday night in front of 3,137 fans at Joe Riley Park.
The walk-off win was the second walk-off in the series verses Columbia (56-50, 16-22) and the sixth of the season for Charleston (59-49, 25-13). The RiverDogs waiting until the extra frames to crack open the tie after stranding a season-high 18 runners on base, six more than their previous high.
Left fielder Carlos Vidal was a huge factor in the game as he went 4-for-6 with two runs scored including the game winner in the tenth inning.
The RiverDogs scored first in the fourth inning. Centerfielder Pablo Olivares led off with a single then scored on double from Vidal that would allow the Colombian native to also score on a wild throw towards home that bounced into the RiverDogs dugout giving Vidal two bases, first baseman Brandon Wagner walked then scored from a bloop single to center from right fielder Steven Sensley.
Two leadoff walks surrendered by Freicer Perez allowed Columbia to tie the game in the fifth at 3-3. First baseman Vinny Siena roped a two-run single to right field with bases loaded then scored on a squeeze bunt put on successfully from shortstop Andres Gimenez. Perez yielded three runs in the inning, snapping a stretch of 12 consecutive starts with two runs or less allowed.
When Perez was pulled in the fifth inning, southpaw Phillip Diehl came in and worked four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts. Luis Cedeno (5-0) came in the top of the tenth and blanked the Fireflies with two strike outs to earn his fifth win of the season.
Keaton Aldridge (0-1) gave up the game winning single after loading the bases in the tenth without getting an out and suffered his first loss of the season.
The RiverDogs had their makeup of peanut free night at The Joe raising awareness of the condition with the help of Charleston Allergy & Asthma. During the 7th inning stretch, circus peanuts replaced regular peanuts thrown out in the stands. Seniors also got to run the bases post game.
Charleston starts a four-game series against Greenville tomorrow night at 7:05. The RiverDogs will send right-hander Nick Nelson (2-7, 4.67) to face the Drive’s lefty Jhonathan Diaz (4-4, 4.66) in the series opener. 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.