Dominant Pitching, Big Eighth Inning Lead RiverDogs past Pelicans 3-0
Charleston, SC— The Charleston RiverDogs broke free from a scoreless deadlock with three runs in the eighth inning to top the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3-0 in front of a crowd of 3,007 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Sunday evening.
Four RiverDogs pitchers combined to strike out 19 Myrtle Beach hitters, the most in a nine-inning game for the RiverDogs since 2016.
RiverDogs (4-2) starting pitcher John Doxakis was nearly untouchable for the 3.0 innings that he toed the rubber.
The left-hander struck out each of the last seven hitters he faced and eight of nine total before exiting the game. Doxakis has opened the season with 7.0 scoreless innings while collecting 13 strikeouts.
The bullpen took over from there with Andrew Gross whiffing three over a 3.0 inning workload, Colby White fanning five of the six hitters he faced and Hector Figueroa closing the door in the ninth with the help of one strikeout. Only six balls left the infield off the bat of Myrtle Beach hitters in the game.
Despite the dominant performance of the pitching staff, the RiverDogs offense struggled to do damage against Myrtle Beach pitching for most of the game.
When the bottom of the eighth inning began, the RiverDogs had collected just three hits off of the combination of Myrtle Beach starter Manuel Espinoza and reliever Jose Miguel Gonzalez.
Their fortunes changed against Eduarniel Nunez. Diego Infante started the inning with a sharp single that ricocheted off the glove of third baseman Luis Verdugo and down the left field line.
Verdugo then threw wildly back to the infield, allowing Infante to race into third. Johan Lopez lined a single to left moments later to give the RiverDogs a 1-0 lead.
In the next at bat, Nick Schnell blasted a home run that caromed off of the light pole in left center to push the score to 3-0. The shutout was the first of the season for the RiverDogs pitching staff.
Schnell’s home run was his second of the season. Alika Williams doubled in the sixth inning to reach base safely for a fifth consecutive game.