An Oswaldo Cabrera grand slam that potentially drifted foul down the right field line gave the Charleston RiverDogs their first ninth-inning comeback of the season and secured their fourth straight win in a 9-6 victory against the Columbia Fireflies at Spirit Communications Park on Sunday afternoon.
The RiverDogs (45-39, 12-4) second baseman pulled a 1-0 pitch from Carlos Hernandez (1-2) past the 330-foot sign in right field which was ruled a fair ball by the umpiring crew, leading to Columbia (41-43, 7-10) manager Pedro Lopez’s ejection. The long ball scored third baseman Welfrin Mateo, left fielder Matt McPhearson, and shortstop Wilkerman Garcia, capping off a five-run ninth inning.
Cabrera’s first career grand slam was the third Charleston home run of the day and completed a career-high five RBI day for the 19-year-old.
Carlos Vidal and Dermis Garcia launched solo home runs in the fifth and eighth innings, respectively. Garcia’s eighth inning blast tied the game at 4-4. Vidal also doubled and scored the game’s tying run in the ninth when McPhearson brought him in with a single back up the box. Vidal finished going 4-for-4, the Colombian native’s third four-hit game of his career. Wilkerman Garcia roped a pair of doubles as one of the five multi-hit efforts in the Charleston lineup.
The come-from-behind victory was Charleston’s first when trailing after eight innings. The RiverDogs were previously 0-25 in such contests. The Holy City scored seven of its nine runs in the final two innings.
20-year-old Rony Garcia got the start for the RiverDogs, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and striking out four Fireflies. The New York Yankees No. 29 pre-season prospect allowed just two hits in his first five innings before Columbia put together its second four-run inning in as many days in the sixth.
Right-hander Dalton Higgins (4-2) relieved Garcia with two runners in scoring position, allowing both inherited runners to cross on a Quinn Brodey double. Higgins was charged with an unearned run in the eighth inning that gave Columbia a 5-4 lead, but the ninth inning grand slam put the Fort Worth, TX native back in line for the win before righty Kyle Zurak shut the door.
The victory gives Charleston its first four-game winning streak of the season. It also extends their season series lead over the Fireflies to 11-5. Charleston has won six straight against Columbia and has claimed all five meetings at Spirit Communications Park.
-per Charleston RiverDogs