CHARLESTON, S.C. – Following a narrow 3-2 walk off win Sunday evening, the Dogs cranked out 11 hits to take the series from Delmarva with an 11-7 win in game three Monday night in front of 3,277 at Joe Riley Park.
The RiverDogs (58-56, 21-23) took advantage of the wildness exhibited by the Shorebirds (75-37, 27-16) pitching staff, scoring their 11 runs with three crooked numbers. Charleston scored three in the second, Brandon Lockridge’s two-run double highlighted a six-run fourth, and the Dogs scratched two more across in the sixth to win their fifth straight game overall, as well as earn their fifth straight against the Shorebirds. The Holy City has now won seven of its last eight contests on the heels of dropping 10 of 14.
Canaan Smith, Mickey Gasper, Eric Wagaman and Eduardo Torrealba all drew free passes in the fourth, aiding the Dogs’ cause in breaking a 3-3 tie. The walk to Wagaman forced in the go-ahead run and kept the bases loaded with none out for Oliver Dunn. The third baseman ripped a single to right field to plate Josh Stowers, and three more runs would eventually score on another bases-loaded walk to Torrealba and the double by Lockridge. The Dogs’ center fielder finished with a three-hit night that snapped an 0-for-11 skid that included the out he produced in his first at-bat Monday night.
The sixth run came across when Matt Hammonds balked with the Dogs’ second baseman standing on third base. By the time Canaan Smith made the final out of the frame, Charleston had sent 10 men to the plate just two innings after nine dogs batted in the second.
The Shorebirds jumped all over Jhony Brito (5-3, 3.57) in the top of the second frame, scoring three runs on a sacrifice fly by Cody Roberts and two RBI singles by JC Encarnacion and Johnny Rizer. Charleston roared right back in the bottom of the inning, plating three more to tie the game on a two-run single by Lockridge and another RBI knock by Stowers.
Brito’s night didn’t get much better, allowing another three-run frame in the fifth, but the righty fought through the rough night to get through five innings with six runs allowed. Charlie Ruegger finished the game with four strong innings in relief, allowing just a single tally on two hits.
The same could not be said of Delmarva starter Hector Guance (8-5, 4.47), as the righty was responsible for six of the ten total walks issued by the Shorebirds. Delmarva entered the night with 423 walks allowed, the second-most in the league despite leading the circuit in ERA, which rose to 3.01 after the 11-run outburst by the Charleston offense. Guance lasted just three innings with seven runs on seven hits on his ledger, and Hammonds allowed the final four runs in the fourth and sixth.
In the winning effort, the Dogs became the 12th team in the South Atlantic League to draw at least 10 walks in a game, and the 11th to do it in nine innings. It was also the first time this season that Charleston has won five consecutive games at Riley Park.
Many of those who came out to Monday night’s tilt brought their furry friends with them through the Riley Park gates, as part of one of the last Dog Day Mondays presented by 96.9 The Wolf of the season. Water bowls and kiddie pools were set up throughout the concourse to make sure the pups were stayed cool and hydrated as they sat through the game with their owners. Fans also made their way up to the Ashley View Pub to enjoy $1 beers and $1 hot dogs, presented by Busch Light.