LEXINGTON, Ky. – Centerfielder Brandon Lockridge touched off for the first RiverDogs grand slam of the season to open an early lead they would not relinquish as Charleston rolled past the Lexington Legends, 7-3, in Thursday night’s road trip opener at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
Lockridge connected on a 2-1 pitch for his seventh home run of the season, now matching Josh Breaux for the team lead, set up by a Kyle Gray double and a pair of walks from Lexington’s starter Charlie Neuwiler (1-5). Despite appearing in all 48 of his games from the leadoff spot, Lockridge is now second on the team with 28 RBI on the season.
After Lockridge’s home run looked like it would but the game too far out of reach early, Lexington (24-28) answered back with a pair in the third, but Charleston’s third baseman Max Burt crushed the first pitch he saw in the fourth for a two-run blast to squashed any hopes of a rally.
Designated hitter Canaan Smith also put together an impressive showing, drilling hits in each of his first three plate appearances, including a pair of doubles, to extend his on-base streak to 17 straight games, matching Lockridge for the longest active streaks on the RiverDogs (29-24). Smith, Burt, and second baseman Kyle Gray all added multiple knocks in the 10-hit Charleston attack.
Charleston starter Alexander Vizcaino (3-2) turned in a quality start, allowing three runs over six innings, using four strikeouts to pitch around a pair of walks and six hits.
After walking the first man he faced in the seventh, former Florence-Darlington Tech hurler Tanner Myatt went on to retire nine of the last 10 he faced. The Tarheel State native fanned five to pick up his second save in as many appearances since returning to Charleston’s roster after over a month on the injured list.
With the win among other results in the league, the RiverDogs will hold at least a 4.0 game advantage on every other team in the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division with 17 games remaining in the first-half.