CHARLESTON, SC - Right-hander Daniel Ramos stranded a runner at third in the sixth and pitched 3 2/3 scoreless frames to keep the Charleston RiverDogs within a run, but Columbia handed the Holy City its second one-run loss in as many games, 2-1, in front of 4,821 on Wednesday's Education Day at Joe Riley Park.
Ramos relieved lefty Citadel product JP Sears (0-4) with a man in scoring position in the sixth inning. The Dominican righty stuck out Columbia's (28-22) Scott Manea and forced an inning-ending ground ball to keep Charleston (23-28) within a run heading into the late innings.
Charleston got a leadoff double from third baseman Chris Hess in the bottom of the ninth as he pulled an 0-2 pitch from Trey Cobb down the left field line. Hess was advanced on an Eduardo Navas sacrifice bunt, but Cobb forced an infield pop-up before striking out Wilkerman Garcia to end the ballgame.
The RiverDogs have left the tying run at third in each of the last two games, with Hess watching the final strike of the game go by in Tuesday's series opener.
With the 2-1 final, Charleston has now played in a league-high 24 games this season. Tuesday marked the ninth game that has been decided by a 2-1 score, games which the RiverDogs are 4-5 in.
Pablo Olivares had his second consecutive multi-hit game, and 11th in May, with a pair of singles in the defeat. Olivares raised his average to .390 (32-for-82) in the month of May, the best mark in the South Atlantic League during that stretch.
JP Sears fell to 0-4 with Wednesday's loss. The Sumter, S.C. native has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start this season and has gotten just 1.86 runs per game from his offense in seven starts.
The RiverDogs held their second and final Education Day of the season. Despite the delay, most of the Lowcountry schools still attended, with over 1,600 pre-ordered hot dogs being distributed to students as part of the Dogs' initiative to get kids and their teachers out to The Joe.