Backed by left-hander Dalton Lehnen’s six shutout innings, the Charleston RiverDogs clinched their second road series of the season, taking the Memorial Day finale, 3-1, over the Hickory Crawdads on Monday afternoon at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Lehnen (3-3) was outright dominant after allowing a pair of baserunners in the first. His one-out single yielded to shortstop Ryan Dorow would be the only hit allowed by the Minnesota southpaw all day. He would have retired 11 in a row following a two out walk in the first had it not been for a pair of Charleston (23-26) errors in the third.
Rain continued to play a part in the series. The game began after a 1 hour and 5 minute delay and Lehnen walked three more batters over his final two innings under adverse conditions. Lehnen’s four total free passes were the most in his career, but none came back to cost him as he fanned seven. The shutout effort lowered the former sixth-rounder’s ERA to a 2.28 mark on the season through nine games.
The win marked Charleston’s first road series victory since early April when the club took two out of three in Rome over the Braves from April 9-11. The RiverDogs improved to 10-18 away from The Joe as they finished the eight-day stint away going 4-3.
The RiverDogs gave Lehnen a lead before he even took the mound, chaining a two-out rally together off Crawdads (17-29) starter Tyree Thompson (2-5) to start the game. After second baseman Oswaldo Cabrera singled for the first time in a 3-for-4 effort and third baseman Dermis Garcia drew a walk, centerfielder Pablo Olivares stayed red hot in the month of May, drilling a two-out knock to make it 1-0 Charleston.
The Holy City capitalized on two Hickory errors in the third inning. With two outs, a pair of runs scored on a ball that was softly lined to Austin O’Bannion in left that he dropped before throwing away past Yonny Hernandez at second to gift the RiverDogs a 3-run cushion.
The Crawdads got to Kyle Zurak in the ninth, but the hard-throwing righty still managed to record his second save in as many appearances in the series.
The RiverDogs open their six-day stint at Riley Park with a three-game series against the Columbia Fireflies, the Class A affiliate of the New York Mets. The tilt against Columbia will mark the third out of five home series in a row pitting the in-state rivals against each other with Charleston owning the season series five games to three, all played at The Joe.
For those that can’t make it out to the park, Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on WTMA 1250 AM, on riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs TuneIn radio station, and on MiLB.tv just before first pitch. Southpaw Dalton Lehnen (2-3, 2.61) gets the nod for Charleston. It’s a Live & Local Tuesday at the ballpark, featuring a flavor of the local scene with live music from Tyrannical Wrecks, local restaurant pop-up the Castejons, a farmers’ market on the concourse, and the stylings of former Hootie & the Blowfish member Mark Bryan as the guest PA announcer.