The Charleston RiverDogs lineup was held to just three hits and Citadel product JP Sears’ run of poor luck continued as the local lefty was handed his fifth losing decision of the season and the Tourists took game two, 6-1, to even the series on Tuesday night in front of 2,578 at Joe Riley Park.
Despite owning a sub-3.00 ERA over ten appearances, including nine starts, this season, the former Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year was unable to find his name in the win column after yielding three runs (two earned) to Asheville (25-39). It marked the seventh time the left-hander pitched the minimum five innings to qualify, allowing three earned runs or fewer in each, but failed to garner a victory.
Third baseman Welfrin Mateo continued his hot start with Charleston (31-32), belting his second home run in four games since a call up. The Dominican Republic native’s solo blast gave the RiverDogs a temporary 1-0 lead with two outs in the second.
Following Mateo’s homer, left fielder Leonardo Molina singled into right but was left stranded. The Dogs managed just one more hit the rest of the way and five total baserunners in the contest. It marked the third time this season that the RiverDogs failed to collect more than three hits, tying a season-low one night after collecting 12 hits off the crop of Rockies prospects.
Asheville tied the game in the third when All-Star infielder Brett Boswell cranked a deep shot to left-center off Sears (0-5), the Tourist third baseman’s tenth of the season.
The Tourists made it a picket fence effort, adding tallies in the fourth and fifth. Charleston committed the first of three errors on the day to gift Asheville a run in the fourth. Left fielder Casey Golden reached on a two-base blunder on a dropped fly ball to right-center by second baseman Wilkerman Garcia. Golden would score on Ramon Marcelino’s subsequent single, both coming with one out. After a pair reached on singles in the fifth, first baseman Chad Spanberger plated his league-leading 52nd run of the season, a fielder’s choice ground out that made it 3-1.
Charleston righty Janson Junk retired eight in a row out of the bullpen before yielding three straight two-out hits in the eighth that extended the Rockies affiliate’s lead to 5-1. A second error by Garcia in the ninth led to Asheville’s final run of the evening.
In a matchup of former SoCon hurlers of the year, Furman product Will Gaddis (3-4) gave up one run while striking out four across six innings to garner the win.
The RiverDogs continue the series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. in game three of a four-game set with Asheville. Charleston will send righty Jio Orozco (0-1, 4.58) to face Tourists dextral hurler Antonio Santos (1-8, 4.33). Wednesday’s contest will be broadcast on 1250 WTMA in the tri-county area, with audio available at riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs TuneIn radio station.