Second baseman Oswaldo Cabrera punched a single into left field in the eighth inning to give the RiverDogs a 4-3 lead as Charleston rallied late to top the Crawdads 4-3 at Joe Riley Park as a record-setting crowd of 4,762 fans looked on.
With the announced crowd of 4,762, the RiverDogs set the franchise’s new attendance record with 296,647 fans having now passed through the turnstiles at Riley Park this year.
Down 3-2 in the eighth inning, right fielder Isiah Gilliam doubled then scored to tie the game as designated hitter Dermis Garcia tripled to right, just missing a home run for the second time in the game. With Hickory’s (63-71, 36-28) infield drawn in, Cabrera gave the RiverDogs (72-60, 39-24) the lead with a single to left.
Starter Alexander Vargas went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with five strikeouts, but did not factor in the decision.
Charleston struck first in the second inning. Gilliam and Cabrera singled to put runners on first and second before catcher Eduardo Navas brought in Gilliam as he flared a single out to left, making in 1-0. Centerfielder Dom Thompson-Williams got in on the action with an RBI single that scored Cabrera to make it 2-0.
Hickory got on the board in the third. Vargas hit right fielder Tanner Gardner then loaded the bases before allowing back-to-back singles. Rangers top prospect Leody Taveras hit a sacrifice fly to right getting Hickory on the board.
The Crawdads added again in the sixth and seventh. The tying run came across in the sixth as a two out walk came back to hurt Vargas. After shortstop Anderson Tejeda stole second, designated hitter Alex Kowalczyk singled to right tying the game. First baseman Andretty Cordero hit a solo shot in the seventh to break the brief tie and give Hickory a short lived 3-2 lead.
Garrett Mundell (1-4) got his first win of the season, working an inning and a third and racking up three punch outs. David Sosebee worked the final frame and rebounded with his 13th save.
Crawdads reliever C.D. Pelham (4-2) surrendered two runs in the eighth to take the loss.
The RiverDogs hosted their final Trendy Tuesday of the season presented by Magic 107.3 and Z93 Jamz. Fans ChaCha slid their way through the evening as trendy dances were celebrated throughout the ballpark. It was also Citadel Night featuring a performance by the Summerall Guards.
The RiverDogs play game two of the series Wednesday night at 7:05 with a chance to clinch the second-half. Charleston will send righty Nick Green (8-8, 4.59) to the hill and the Crawdads will counter with right-hander A.J. Alexy (1-1, 4.02). The game can be tuned into on “The Big Talker” WTMA 1250 AM and online with streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs’ TuneIn Radio app station.