Charleston Rallies Late, Mateo Walks Off Shorebirds

Charleston Rallies Late, Mateo Walks Off Shorebirds
(Source: Charleston RiverDogs)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – A late rally in the bottom of the ninth inning paved way for Welfrin Mateo’s walk off double in the bottom of the 10th inning, as the Dogs won their fourth straight contest against the Shorebirds 3-2 with 4,730 strong in attendance.

VIDEO: Charleston Rallies Late, Mateo Walks Off Shorebirds

It was a 2-0 game entering the bottom of the ninth inning, with Eric Wagaman, Welfrin Mateo and Ryan Lidge due up against Shorebirds (75-36, 27-15) reliever Felix Bautista. The righty fanned Wagaman, but allowed the next three Dogs to reach, on a single by Mateo, a walk issued to Lidge, and an error on a ground ball to second base off the bat of Eduardo Torrealba. The ball squeaked under the glove of Ryne Ogren, and Mateo flew around third base to get the Dogs on the board.

Ryan Lidge was lifted in favor of Oliver Dunn after the catcher reached second base on the error, and Oswald Peraza then drew the second walk of the inning to force Dunn to third. A wild pitch uncorked by Bautista allowed Dunn to dash home, tying the game at two runs apiece. Canaan Smith had the chance to win it with the bases loaded and two outs, but he grounded out to second base.

Nick Horvath began the 10th inning on second base in keeping with Minor League Baseball’s extra innings rule with Zach Watson up to lead off the frame for Delmarva. Watson grounded out to third, and another groundout and a flyout from Adam Hall and JC Encarnacion, respectively, got Keegan Curtis (1-0, 0.00) out of the inning.

Things looked bleak for the Dogs (57-56, 20-23) in the home half, when Jhon Peluffo (1-4, 3.16) induced a groundout from Josh Stowers and fanned Mickey Gasper to begin the frame, with Smith on second base. Wagaman drew a free pass, the eighth walk allowed by the Shorebirds on the heels of walking seven dogs Saturday night, to set the table for Mateo.

The third baseman cranked a line drive into the right-center field gap to plate Smith from second for the Dogs’ fourth walk off win of the season and first since Oswald Peraza lined a ninth-inning, walk off single to send the Dogs to a 2-1 win over the Hickory Crawdads August 1. The win marked their first of the season when trailing after eight innings at home, and Charleston also handed Delmarva just its second loss in 58 games when the Shorebirds led after the eighth inning.

Delmarva plated a couple of runs in the top of the first inning, when Ogren drove Hall and Encarnacion home on a double down the left field line. Harold Cortijo didn’t let the clutch knock rattle him, as he fanned Doran Turchin to escape the frame. Overall, the righty finished with five innings of three-hit ball, allowing just the two runs and striking out five.

Charleston’s bullpen was nothing short of dominant; lefty Tim Hardy and Curtis, making his home debut, followed Cortijo with five hitless frames, allowing just two walks and striking out two.