CHARLESTON, S.C. – No lead was safe in game two of the four-game set between the RiverDogs and the Tourists, as Charleston prevailed 12-5 Friday night in front of 5,180 at Joe Riley Park.
For Charleston (41-38, 4-5), a trio of crooked numbers in a four-run fourth, five-run seventh and three-run eighth provided all the run support the club needed, as the 12-run outburst marked the highest output by the RiverDogs’ offense since the team’s 13-5 win over the Hickory Crawdads on May 12. The contest also saw three lead changes.
The RiverDogs jumped all over Tourists (32-47, 3-6) starter Ryan Feltner in the fourth, plating four runs on a game-tying two-run double by Sandy Mota, part of a four-RBI night for the Charleston third baseman, playing in his first game at Riley Park since being recalled from Extended Spring Training on June 24. Catcher Anthony Seigler, the offensive star of the night, came through later in the frame with a two-run single to score Mota and Welfrin Mateo, giving the RiverDogs a 4-2 lead.
In the seventh, Charleston did one better, striking for five runs off Asheville reliever Boby Johnson (1-3, 5.63) on four RBI singles by Mota, Frederick Cuevas, Josh Stowers and Seigler. The second lengthy inning of the night saw nine men come to the plate. In the winning effort, Anthony Seigler finished 2-for-2 with three walks and three RBI, joining Eric Wagaman and Brandon Lockridge as the third RiverDog to reach base five times in a single game this year.
The eighth inning brought more of the same, as two singles and two RBI doubles by Mateo and Mota, as well as an error by catcher Willie MacIver, aided Charleston in plating three more runs to put the game out of reach.
The offensive explosion was certainly a sight for sore eyes, as Charleston entered the evening holding down the last-place spot in the South Atlantic League in runs scored (21), slugging percentage (.274) and OPS (.625) since the All-Star Break. The RiverDogs’ 18 hits also marked a new season-high, and their highest total since May 20, 2017 in a home tilt against the Augusta GreenJackets when the Dogs pounded 20 hits.
Charleston starter Nolan Martinez fought through a rough start for the second consecutive outing, as he allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits in 4 1/3 innings Friday night, needing 81 pitches in his effort. Solid bullpen work from Tanner Myatt (2-1, 1.67) and Jefry Valdez held the Tourists to one run over the final 4 2/3 frames, giving Charleston the comfortable seven-run win they were looking for.
Charleston prevailed for just the fourth time in nine games to begin the second half, and now look to continue the momentum in game three Saturday night.
Fans came out in droves Friday night for the first post-All-Star Break Boeing Red Shirt Friday. After the game, many stuck around for another vibrant fireworks display presented by Home Telecom, and were treated to Friday night’s theme: well-known songs from the 2000s. That’s not all, though, as everyone who came to the game wearing red was able to get $1 off their tickets at the box office. Fans who took advantage of the discount also had the option to send that dollar back to help support local active and retired military members and their families.