NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - After letting a three-run lead slip in the ninth the night before, the Charleston RiverDogs needed late-inning dramatics of their own to end a brief, three-game swing in Augusta on a high note. Left fielder Brandon Lockridge ripped an eighth inning, two-run double to the left field corner to flip a RiverDogs deficit to a one-run lead as Charleston stole the series finale from Augusta, 3-1, on Saturday night at SRP Park.
Charleston (8-9) deployed the minor leagues' most prolific strikeout reliever to finish the game as Shawn Semple (2-0, 0.53) blanked the GreenJackets (8-7) over the final four frames to pick up his second win in relief this season. The South Jersey product entered play leading all of MiLB in strikeout rate (59%) and ran his season total up to 30 punchouts in just 17 innings by fanning four Augusta hitters to close the game.
Third baseman Nelson Gomez added to the Holy City lead, blasting his third home run of the season and second in as many days at SRP Park with one out in the top of the ninth to make it 3-1. The 21-year-old Dominican Republic prospect has collected all three of his longballs on the season in the past four days after driving 11 out in 58 games with the Pulaski Yankees last season.
Giants No. 6 prospect Sean Hjelle blanked the RiverDogs over the first six innings, yielding just an infield hit to Josh Stowers in the fourth. The 6-foot, 11-inch right-hander struck out six while issuing just one walk in his third start of the season.
Righty Luis Medina appeared to turn a corner in his third start with the RiverDogs, striking out five and allowing just one run over a season-long five-inning outing. The hard-throwing hurler pitched around eight hits, working from the stretch each inning to strand eight baserunners.
Lockridge stepped up to the plate in the eighth 0-for-his-last-12 in the series before drilling the game-winner into left field. The win was Charleston's first when trailing after five innings or later this season; the club entered play 0-6 when trailing after six innings. Canaan Smith and Eduardo Torrealba each extended their hitting streaks to seven games to set the table for Lockridge in the eighth inning.
After Easter Sunday off, the RiverDogs settle in for a weeklong homestand, welcoming in the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, to start a three-game series on Monday evening at Riley Park. In the opener, the Dogs will throw righty Alexander Vizcaino (1-0, 2.79), opposed by Intimidators right-hander Jonathan Stiever (0-2, 6.00). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Catch the game on "The Big Talker" WTMA 1250 AM as well as online streaming on the TuneIn Radio app, and on MiLB.tv with a subscription.