The Charleston RiverDogs will have to wait at least another night for their first win of the season. After another quick strike in the first inning and a mammoth home run by right fielder Steven Sensley that put the RiverDogs up 2-0, the Legends would once again outperform Charleston in the late innings as they took their second in a row to begin the season, 5-2, on Friday night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
Sensley’s 371-foot blast in the third was the highlight of the night for the RiverDogs (0-2) before the offense came to a screeching halt. After first baseman Dalton Blaser followed up with a double, Lexington pitching went on to retire the next 16 in a row until Sensley singled again in the eighth. The Louisiana Lafayette product now has 14 home runs in 52 professional games since being drafted in the 12th round last June.
Royals No. 3 prospect Seuly Matias, the Lexington right fielder, continued one of the hottest starts in the minor leagues, roping his third home run in two days, a two-run shot that put the Legends (2-0) up 5-2 in the fifth.
After falling behind for the second straight night early, the Legends went to work in the third, finally getting to Yankees prospect Glenn Otto (0-1), who wiggled out of jams with runners at the corners and one or fewer outs in the first two frames. A leadoff walk to centerfielder Michael Gigliotti scored on an infield knock by Seuly Matias, and the second came home with the bases loaded when shortstop Wilkerman Garcia tried to flip to second for an out but couldn’t deliver it in time.
In the fourth, a leadoff error on a pop up dropped by Garcia led to the go-ahead run scoring after a wild pitch from Otto, making it 3-2.
Right-handers Brian Trieglaff and Braden Bristo settled things down for the RiverDogs out of the bullpen, turning in 3 2/3 scoreless innings with six punchouts combined.
Still seeking their first win, the RiverDogs send Floridian righty Nick Nelson, the Yankees No. 28 prospect, to the bump for his season debut. The Legends will counter with right-hander Collin Snider. After four games in Lexington and three in Rome, the Dogs return home for their home opener on April 12 at The Joe. Radio coverage of Saturday’s game starts with “Saturday Dog Talk” at 6 p.m. on “The Big Talker” 1250 AM and online streaming on the RiverDogs TuneIn radio app. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.