Right-hander Daniel Ramos spun five shutout innings and the RiverDogs used a hot start to jump out to a 2-0 lead, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans responded with six off the bullpen and stole Tuesday night’s exhibition opener, 6-4, in front of a crowd of 2,892 at Joe Riley Park.
In a tune up start before Thursday’s opening night in Lexington, Charleston’s 23-year-old Dominican starter got the RiverDogs off on the right foot, squeaking out of a one out, bases loaded jam in the first and finishing with four punch outs in his five innings.
Charleston jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom half, all started by infielders Oswaldo Cabrera and Wilkerman Garcia, who led off the frame with a single and a double, respectively. Right fielder Steven Sensley plated the first run with an RBI groundout and two batters later, left fielder Leonardo Molina roped a double on the first pitch he saw into left field to drive in another. Garcia led the RiverDogs offense with a 3-for-4 day, including a pair of two-baggers.
Myrtle Beach rallied for the next six runs in the ballgame, getting to the Charleston bullpen in the sixth and seventh. Chad Martin struggled with command, walking three and yielding a pair of runs in the sixth, before southpaw Anderson Severino (0-1) issued three more free passes and was charged with four earned runs in the seventh to suffer the loss.
Cubs No. 5 prospect Alex Lange looked the part in his preseason start, shaking off the two early runs to finish five innings with five strikeouts, and retiring 12 of the final 14 batters he faced.
Charleston mounted a comeback in the eighth that fell short. Three straight men reached to the start the inning. First baseman Dalton Blaser stroked an opposite field single to score Garcia and Molina drove a ball deep in the right-center gap that was run down by center fielder D.J. Wilson to limit the damage to a sac fly that made it 6-4.
Jhon Romero came on with a runner at first and the tying run at the plate in the ninth to pick up the save.
The loss marks Charleston’s second straight defeat at the hands of the Pelicans in the last three seasons in the revival of the “Battle of the Beaches” Palmetto State rivalry.
RiverDogs fans helped raise approximately $3,000 in funds for the Campaign for MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital with text to give and donation jars throughout the night.
The RiverDogs get the regular season underway on Thursday night in Lexington, Ky. as they take on the Lexington Legends, the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, on Opening Night on Thursday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. It’s the start of a seven-day road trip before Charleston returns for their home opener on Thursday, April 12 at The Joe. The game will be broadcast on “The Big Talker” 1250 AM and online streaming on the RiverDogs TuneIn radio app starting at 7 p.m.