CHARLESTON, S.C. – The GreenJackets pitching staff cooled Charleston’s white-hot offense, as the RiverDogs fell 8-3 in the 10th inning Friday night to put a stop to Charleston’s three-game winning streak with 6,239 in the stands at Joe Riley Park.
Bryan Blanton (0-1, 18.00), in for his third inning of work in his season debut with the RiverDogs (23-18), forced a throw to third base on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Orlando Garcia to lead off the top of the 10th. With Mikey Edie placed on second base to begin the frame in accordance with the MiLB extra-innings rule, Blanton tried to force a throw to third base but threw the ball away, allowing Edie to come in and score the go-ahead run, breaking a 2-2 tie.
The GreenJackets (20-20) went on to score five more times on five hits, including two triples, to eventually take the first game of the four-game set.
This one had the makings of a pitchers’ duel early on, as Alexander Vizcaino and Seth Corry traded scoreless frames through the first two innings, before Augusta eventually broke the ice in the top of the third.
Jose Layer led off the frame with a perfectly placed bunt single that dribbled right between Vizcaino and his third baseman Ricky Surum, inducing a minor collision between the two fielders. A wild pitch allowed Layer to advance 90 feet to second base, and the GreenJackets shortstop Nico Giarratano plated him with an RBI single.
Charleston pushed the equalizer across a couple of innings later, when left fielder Canaan Smith lined a one-out RBI single to center field, scoring Eduardo Torrealba who was hit by Seth Corry leading off the bottom of the fifth. Josh Stowers, who reached on a single of his own behind Torrealba, advanced to third on the play, but he would advance no further after Josh Breaux popped out to Giarratano and Mitchell Robinson struck out.
Vizcaino completed seven innings for the third time this season, though he again gave up the go-ahead run in his final inning of work on an RBI single by Edie. When it was all said and done, Vizcaino allowed the two runs, both earned, on six hits. His 10 strikeouts marked a new career-high for the Dominican-born fire baller.
Charleston again found a way to scratch across the tying run, this time on a ground ball that was chopped high in the air to third off the bat of Breaux. Giarratano was able to cut it off before it reached the outfield, but Breaux beat the throw to first and Smith scored from third to even the contest once more.
Dominant work out of the GreenJackets’ pen by Tyler Schimpf and Ben Madison (2-0, 0.00) kept Charleston off the board until the 10th frame, when the Dogs were able to score a single run on a groundout by Frederick Cuevas to answer the 6-run debacle in the top half of the inning.
Despite the loss, Charleston has still won 15 of its last 21 games, scoring 116 runs over that span and allowing just 81 (+35).
As part of another Boeing Red Shirt Friday, those in attendance who showed up wearing red received one dollar off their tickets at the gate, and they were provided the option to donate that dollar back to help out local active and retired military members and their families. Fans who stuck around following the final out of the game were also treated to a spectacular fireworks display, and during the show they were serenaded by the Rocketman himself, Elton John, for the theme of this week’s spectacle presented by Home Telecom.
After falling in extras for the third time this season, the Dogs look to bounce back in game two. Right-hander Luis Medina (0-2, 8.49) will take the mound for Charleston, looking to find his form in his seventh start of the season. Last time out on the road against the Hickory Crawdads, Medina labored through 4.2 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and five walks. On the other side, towering righty Sean Hjelle (1-2, 2.50), the 6’11” product out of the University of Kentucky, will make his ninth start looking to give his club a 2-0 series lead. The Giants’ second round pick from a year ago shut the Lexington Legends out through 4.1 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m with "Saturday Dog Talk" radio coverage beginning at 5:30.