Third baseman Dermis Garcia slugged his fourth homer of the season and designated hitter Steven Sensley continued his tear with three RBI as the RiverDogs topped the Drive 7-2 at Joe Riley Park on Thursday evening in front of 3,532 fans. With the win, Charleston’s magic number to clinch the second half is down to 12 with 18 games remaining.
Sensely has now collected 22 RBI in 15 games with the RiverDogs, the most in the South Atlantic League since his call up from Pulaski on August 1. Garcia and Sensley have now each clubbed four homers with Charleston since being sent up on the same day with 13 apiece on the season between the two stops.
Along with Sensley and Garcia, right fielder Isiah Gilliam went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a single and three runs scored. The Atlanta, Ga. native leads the club with 30 two-baggers on the season.
Alexander Vargas (1-2) was solid through six innings and earned his first SAL win. He allowed just one run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk while lowering his ERA to 2.35 through six starts.
After going down 1-0 in the top of the first, Charleston (68-54, 34-18) jumped out to a 2-1 lead on Greenville (68-54, 27-26) starter Jay Groome (3-6). With one out, second baseman Diego Castillo walked then Gilliam put runners on the corners with his first of two doubles. Sensley roped an RBI ground out to get the RiverDogs on the board before Garcia made it a 2-1 game with an RBI double.
The RiverDogs leaped out to a bigger lead in the third. Gilliam singled to lead off the frame then Garcia belted his fourth homer of the season to left field putting Charleston up 4-1.
Sensley helped add insurance in the seventh knocking a two run double into the right field corner to bring in Castillo and Gilliam.
Charleston capitalized on an error at third in the seventh inning to round off the home scoring in the eighth at seven.
The Drive nabbed their final run of the game off relief pitcher Brian Trieglaff in the ninth. Right fielder Ryan Scott walked then third baseman Bobby Dalbec doubled putting runners at second and third with no outs. Center fielder Jagger Rusconi grounded out to second.
Also highlighting the bullpen for the RiverDogs was right-hander Garrett Mundell. He worked two innings of relief, striking out five of the seven batters he faced.
The RiverDogs opened the gates for another Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX as fans 21 and older enjoyed dollar beers in the Budweiser Ashley View Pub with DJ Natty Heavy spinning tunes all night long. As part of the “Great Koozie Exchange,” fans swapped out their favorite drink snuggies for a new one to keep their Buds cool on a warm evening at Riley Park, along with koozie trivia, a koozie toss, and more.
The RiverDogs continue the homestand, next welcoming in the Augusta GreenJackets, the Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, for a four-game tilt starting on Friday night at 7:05. Charleston will send RHP Nick Green (8-8, 4.77) to toe the rubber. The GreenJackets will counter with southpaw Caleb Baragar (4-7, 4.44). 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.