First baseman Chris Hess safely slid into home for the game-winning run on a wild pitch as the Charleston RiverDogs walked off on the Columbia Fireflies, 5-4, in front of 4,270 on Thursday at Joe Riley Park.
In a back-and-forth series finale, Charleston (24-28) got the first two runners on in the bottom half of the ninth with back-to-back singles from center fielder Leonardo Molina and Hess. After both were advanced on an Eduardo Navas sacrifice bunt, Molina was thrown out at home by Columbia (28-23) first baseman Jeremy Vasquez on a Carlos Vidal ground ball. With two outs and shortstop Kyle Holder at the plate, a wild pitch from Darwin Ramos (0-1) skidded to the backstop, plating the walk-off tally. Hess extended his hit streak to six games with the ninth inning knock.
Molina had a pair of hits in the victory, including a two-run double that scored right fielder Steven Sensley and designated hitter Pablo Olivares as part of a three-run seventh inning. Molina scored later in the frame on double from Navas.
Right-hander Jio Orozco was given the nod for the Holy City. Orozco went a season-high six innings, surrendering two runs and facing one over the minimum through 5 1/3. Orozco registered a no-decision in the victory.
Braden Bristo and Kyle Zurak (2-1) combined for the final three innings of relief. Bristo surrendered two runs but a scoreless ninth from Zurak kept the ballgame tied.
All three games of the series were decided by one run, with Columbia claiming the tilt. Charleston has played a SAL-high 25 one-run games, going 11-14 in such contests. The Dogs now lead the season series with the Fireflies, 6-5, with all but one game being separated by two or fewer runs.
It was Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX. Fans enjoyed dollar beers and bumped to the beats of DJ Natty Heavy in the Budweiser Ashley View Pub. Charleston also eclipsed 100,000 fans through the turnstiles this season.
Charleston welcomes the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, for a three-game weekend set starting on Friday at 7:05. RiverDogs righty Alexander Vargas (2-1, 6.00) will match up with right-hander Brenan Hanifee (4-1, 2.55). Friday’s game will be broadcast on 1250 WTMA in the tri-county area, with audio available at riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs TuneIn radio station. There is also video streaming available on MiLB.TV.