The Charleston RiverDogs are getting comfortable playing in close ballgames. Right-hander Dalton Higgins got the RiverDogs out of two bases-loaded jams, striking out four in two innings of relief, to secure a game two victory, 3-2, after Charleston dropped the opener of a double-header, 4-0, on Wednesday evening at SRP Park.
Higgins (1-0) garnered a well-deserved game two victory, securing Charleston (20-25) their first win in the series after being shutout in their previous two, giving the Holy City a chance at a series split on the Thursday night finale. The RiverDogs have now played a league-high 21 games decided by one run over their first 45 contests. It was just their second road victory in such scenarios, improving Charleston to 9-12 overall in one-run games.
The night cap win snapped first-place Augusta’s (28-15) six-game winning streak after the GreenJackets’ league-best pitching staff had held the RiverDogs scoreless over the first 15 innings of the series. The Giants’ Class A club leads the fifth-place RiverDogs by 9.0 games in the first-half standings.
Sidewinding righty Luis Cedeno hammered down the win with his second save of the season with a scoreless seventh.
After being blanked in back-to-back games for the first time this season with a game one loss, the RiverDogs held the lead for the entirety of the second contest, jumping out to a 2-0 advantage to snap the skid in the first inning. Second baseman Wilkerman Garcia stayed with an 0-2 pitch into left field to lead off and shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera laid down the first successful sacrifice bunt of the season before first baseman Dermis Garcia ripped an RBI knock to left. A throwing error by the GreenJackets doubled the Charleston advantage.
After Augusta answered back with a tally in the third, Cabrera smacked a double to right-center with Wilkerman Garcia on base again to make it a two-run advantage once more.
Higgins allowed one of his two inherited runners to score when he came on in the fifth but punched his way off the ropes with three strike outs. A hit by pitch and a walk got him into trouble again in the sixth, but the Dallas Baptist product pulled another rabbit out of his hat with an escape act.
In game one, Palmetto state native JP Sears (0-3) walked a season-high three batters over his first two innings, giving up three runs in the second after issuing a base on balls to push across the first run of the game. The outing (four runs, three earned in 5.0 innings), raised his ERA to a 2.08 ERA as he remains winless in seven appearances as a Yankee farmhand.
Cabrera entered play on a 0-for-27 skid before collecting a base hit in his first at-bat and finishing 2-for-6 on the evening.
Game one began after a 1 hour and 45-minute delay due to wet grounds with the double-header originally slated to begin at 5:05 p.m.
The Dogs finish up their only trip to SRP Park this season, taking on the GreenJackets in Thursday night’s finale at 7:05 p.m. The RiverDogs will send righty Jio Orozco (0-1, 4.50) to the hill for his second start of the season. The GreenJackets will throw out right-hander Jason Bahr (4-2, 1.73) in response. Thursday night’s broadcast can be tuned into on WTMA 1250 AM and the RiverDogs TuneIn radio station.