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Costly Fifth Inning Allows Wood Ducks to Even Series with RiverDogs

The RiverDogs fall to 8-6 on the season with a 6-5 loss to the Wood Ducks on Wednesday
The RiverDogs fall to 8-6 on the season with a 6-5 loss to the Wood Ducks on Wednesday(Charleston RiverDogs)
Published: May. 20, 2021 at 12:54 AM EDT
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Charleston, SC— The Down East Wood Ducks scored four runs, three of them unearned, in the top of the fifth inning to beat the Charleston RiverDogs, playing as the Boiled Peanuts, 6-5 on Wednesday night at The Joe in front of a crowd of 2,242 fans. The RiverDogs had the potential go-ahead run on base in the eighth and at the plate in the ninth, but came up short. Down East’s victory evened the series 1-1.

The RiverDogs (8-6) entered the fateful inning holding a 3-2 advantage. Starter Taj Bradley began the inning with back-to-back walks to the eight and nine hitters in the Down East lineup. Evan Carter followed with a fly ball to center field that advanced the lead runner, Randy Florentino, to third base. With men on the corners, Dustin Harris smashed a groundball toward first where Jonathan Embry made a diving stab and tried to start a double play with a throw to second. That throw sailed into left field as the tying run scored and everyone was safe on the play. An RBI single by Keyber Rodriguez was followed by a run-scoring groundout from Cristian Inoa and the Wood Ducks grabbed a 6-3 lead.

The RiverDogs had several chances to pull even or move in front in the final innings. Facing a 6-4 deficit in the eighth inning, the bases were loaded with one out when Luis Leon struck out looking on three pitches. Joe Corbett came on from the Down East bullpen and hit Hill Alexander with a pitch to make it a one-run game, but the right-hander struck out Johan Lopez to end the inning. In the final frame, Heriberto Hernandez walked with two outs, but Nick Schnell flied to left field to close the game.

For the second consecutive game, the Wood Ducks (10-4) jumped to a lead out of the gates. Evan Carter, who led off Tuesday’s game with home run, doubled down the left field line to start the contest. Moments later, Dustin Harris brought him in with a line drive single to left. The RiverDogs came right back to score two runs in the bottom of the opening inning.

Bradley was handed the loss after allowing five runs, three earned, in 4.1 innings.

Stephen Yancey worked 2.0 scoreless innings out the bullpen while collecting three strikeouts.

Brett Wisely went 2-4 with a double to lead the RiverDogs attack. Schnell extended his hitting streak to eight games with a double in the third inning. Diego Infante singled in the sixth inning to reach base safely for the 11th consecutive game.

Ballpark Fun

The RiverDogs suited up as their alternate identity, the Charleston Boiled Peanuts, for the first time since 2019 on Wednesday night. Prior to the start of the game, William Lee, the brother of Tony the Peanut Man, threw out the ceremonial first pitch while receiving a generous ovation from the crowd.

The RiverDogs and Wood Ducks will meet again on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Graeme Stinson (0-0, 6.35) will make his first start of the season for the RiverDogs. Down East will turn to RHP Gavin Collyer (1-0, 9.64). The game will once again be a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday with $1 beers throughout the ballpark.