CHARLESTON, S.C. – A pair of two-run home runs by Canaan Smith were all the Dogs needed Thursday night, as Charleston downed the Greenville Drive 10-0 with 4,137 in attendance at Joe Riley Park.
The two shots by Smith ended up in the same place, just beyond the right field wall to the left of the foul pole, but arrived in much different fashions.
The first came just three batters into the contest. Following a clean 1-2-3 inning by starter Luis Medina (1-4, 7.43), RiverDogs (36-31) leadoff hitter Brandon Lockridge, serving as the DH, popped out to first baseman Triston Casas. The Yankees’ 2018 first-round draft pick Anthony Seigler, making his Riley Park debut, followed with a double that cleared the dive of Drive (30-37) center fielder Cole Brannen.
The two-bagger set the table for Smith, who worked his way into a favorable hitter’s count against Chris Machamer (2-3, 5.14) and crushed a 2-0 offering high and deep over the right field fence.
His second home run came four frames later in the bottom of the fifth, again scoring Seigler who reached on a leadoff single. Smith, ahead in the count once more, hit a frozen rope that barely escaped the park over the wall in right field to put the Dogs up 4-0. His second blast gave him his first professional multi-homer game, and marked the first two-home run game by a RiverDog since Dermis Garcia’s effort on September 3 of last season.
In between the two shots and beyond, that was all the support Medina needed. The Yankees No. 11 prospect delivered his best outing of the season, firing six no-hit frames and allowing just a pair of walks, both to second baseman Everlouis Lozada.
Medina didn’t post the gaudy strikeout numbers seen from him in past starts this season, most notably in his last outing when he struck out a career-high nine Asheville Tourists on June 7. He fanned just three Drive hitters, but pitched to contact effectively, inducing nine groundball outs.
Charleston lost the no-hit bid in the top of the seventh, when Ron Marinaccio allowed a one-out infield single to Greenville DH Devlin Granberg. Marinaccio shrugged off the single and set down the next two Drive hitters to keep the shutout intact.
The RiverDogs added on in the bottom of the frame, tacking on six more runs on a three-run triple by Kyle Gray, a two-run triple by Omar Carrizales and a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Torrealba to put the game out of reach. It marked Charleston’s largest margin of victory of the season and their fifth in shutout fashion.
Marinaccio retired the next six Greenville batters to seal the win with three scoreless innings, pushing the Dogs to a 36-31 record with three games to play in the first half. The win guaranteed that Charleston would at least keep hold of their share of first place in the SAL Southern Division, with the Augusta GreenJackets still in progress when the Dogs recorded their final out.