Left fielder Pablo Olivares made a catch of the year candidate when he leaped over the wall, robbing Trevor Craport of a ninth inning, game-tying home run in the Charleston RiverDogs’ 3-2 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds in front of 4,172 on a Red Shirt Friday night at Joe Riley Park.
Delmarva’s (29-23) Craport was the first batter right-hander Kyle Zurak faced in his lone scoreless inning that earned him a save. Zurak issued a two-out walk to Max Hogan but struck out catcher Ben Breazeale to strand the run.
Right-hander Greg Weissert didn’t need any defensive help in his two innings of relief. The Bay Shore, New York native struck out all six hitters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings, four of which were looking punch outs.
Weissert and Zurak were the relief for Alexander Vargas (3-1) as the righty went six strong frames, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits and a walk. Vargas has allowed two earned runs in 20 innings at The Joe this year. Conversely, the Dominican Republic born hurler has allowed 14 combined runs in his two outings away from home. The pair of relievers sunk the RiverDogs’ (25-28) bullpen ERA to a 2.01 mark.
Friday was outfielder Matt McPhearson’s first day back from the disabled list since a nasty April 18 collision in the field. The speedy Baltimore native walked, stole second, and scored on an Oswaldo Cabrera sacrifice fly for the Dogs’ first run in the third. Catcher Jason Lopez plated Steven Sensley with a bases-loaded infield single in the fourth.
Charleston took the final lead in the sixth on back-to-back triples from Leonardo Molina and Chris Hess. Left fielder Max Hogan missed a diving effort on Hess’ hit that resulted in the second three-bagger. It was the first time this season that the Dogs have hit triples in consecutive at-bats.
Friday was Charleston’s fourth straight one-run game, giving them a league-high 26 single-tally differentials. Charleston dropped the first two games of the homestand to Columbia but has taken the latter two after a Thursday walk-off victory.
It was another Red Shirt Friday down at The Joe. Fans who wear red in honor of the military saved a buck at the box office. The Dogs also launched Home Telecom postgame fireworks set to the songs of summer.
Game two of the three-game weekend series between Charleston and Delmarva is at 6:05 on Saturday. Charleston will hand the ball to Rony Garcia (2-2, 3.80) as the right-hander will go for the series win against righty Brenan Hanifee (4-1, 2.55) and the Shorebirds. Saturday’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. Pregame coverage with “Saturday Dog Talk” starts at 5:30.