HICKORY, N.C. – First baseman Eric Wagaman drilled a pair of home runs, including the go-ahead two-run blast in the eighth inning, as the RiverDogs rode a season-high four longballs to their second straight come from behind win over the Crawdads on Saturday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The pair of comeback wins have punctuated the current three-game winning streak for the RiverDogs (61-57, 24-24), who have won 10 of their last 12 during their torrid stretch in which they’ve led the South Atlantic League in hitting and with 71 runs scored (5.9 per game), marking an offensive turnaround for a club that had been the league’s worst since the All-Star break.
Wagaman, a 21-year-old native of Orange County, California, showcased his newfound confidence, driving both of his homers out on first pitch offerings in what was his first multi-homer game since his pro debut on June 22, 2017 with the Pulaski Yankees. The pair of longballs brought him to a career-high six total with three coming in as many days in the series in Hickory.
Catcher Josh Breaux, in the lineup as the designated hitter, also provided some additional pop to the Charleston lineup in his first game back since May 21 before a lengthy injured list stint. After an 0-for-3 start to the night, the former second round got back to his old self, thumping a leadoff blast the opposite way in the seventh that made it 9-5 and an additional two-run double down the line in left that pulled the Holy City back within a run before Wagaman completed the comeback on the night. Breaux raised his slugging percentage over the .500 mark on the season and now has eight homers and 33 RBI in 31 games with Charleston this year.
The RiverDogs trailed by as many as six on the evening when the Crawdads (68-45, 27-20) led 7-1 after three, marking their biggest comeback win of the season. Following Canaan Smith’s go-ahead blast the night before, the RiverDogs have now won a game when facing a deficit after seven just six times this year, including each of the last two nights.
After Wagaman put the Dogs on the board in the second, right fielder Frederick Cuevas made it a 7-3 game in the fourth by taking the former tenth overall pick Cole Winn deep for a two-run blast, his first home run since August of last season while with the RiverDogs.
Keegan Curtis (W, 2-0) was critical holding the lead out of the Dogs ‘pen, blanking the Rangers affiliate over the final three innings with just two baserunners allowed.
Paced by Wagaman’s three-hit game, shortstop Oswald Peraza, Breaux, center fielder Josh Stowers, Welfrin Mateo, and Cuevas all tallied multi-hit nights. Charleston and Hickory collectively totaled 26 hits in the slugfest for the second time at L.P. Frans Stadium this season, tying Charleston’s combined season-high.