RiverDogs Dramatic Comeback Spoiled by 6-4 Extra Innings Loss
Charleston, SC— The Charleston RiverDogs fell 6-4 in their first extra innings contest of 2021 in front of 4,207 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Thursday night. Cody Freeman’s two-RBI single on an 0-2 pitch with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the tenth provided the difference for the Down East Wood Ducks. The game was forced into the extra frame by Diego Infante’s game-tying, pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the eighth.
The RiverDogs (8-7) trailed 4-1 entering the eighth inning and had struggled all night to come up with a big hit while runners were on base. With one down, Jonathan Embry worked a walk and was called safe at second on Luis Leon’s roller up the middle when third baseman Cristian Inoa missed the bag with his foot. Johan Lopez struck out in the next at bat, setting the stage for Infante’s big swing. Pinch-hitting for Hill Alexander, Infante fell behind 0-2 before working the count back to even at 2-2. He turned on a slider and lined it over the left field wall to tie the game with his second home run of the season.
In the extra frame, Trevor Brigden walked leadoff hitter Evan Carter with Jayce Easley already on second base to start the inning. Both runners stole a base to move into scoring position with no outs. Brigden came back to strike out Luisangel Acuna for the first out. The RiverDogs then opted to intentionally walk Dustin Harris to load the bases. Brigden whiffed Keyber Rodriguez for the second out and quickly jumped ahead of Freeman 0-2 in the next at bat as he tried to escape the jam. However, his 0-2 pitch was lined back up the middle, scoring the decisive runs.
The Wood Ducks (11-4) built a 4-1 lead in the early going with some fortunate breaks. Carter put Down East in front with a run-scoring groundout in the third inning and, following a two-base error on pitcher Graeme Stinson, the lead doubled on Rodriguez’s RBI double in the fourth. With two outs in the fifth, a seemingly routine fly ball to center field off of Acuna’s bat dropped into center field for an RBI double when Nick Schnell lost the ball in the lights. Harris followed by driving in another run to widen the gap to 4-0.
Stinson tossed 4.0 innings in his first start of the season, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits. Brigden was saddled with the loss despite striking out five batters in 2.0 innings of work. He has compiled 23 strikeouts in 9.0 innings of work this season.
Brett Wisely and Curtis Mead each provided two hits in the game as both teams finished with nine total. Jonathan Embry was walked four times. Infante’s home run extended his streak of reaching base safely to 12 games.
The crowd of 4,207 fans was the largest of the season for the RiverDogs. The new high-water mark was reached days after the team announced that it would begin responsibly ramping up the amount of tickets available for each game at The Joe.
LHP John Doxakis (1-0, 0.75) will get the ball on Friday night for the RiverDogs. Down East will start RHP Tekoah Roby (0-1, 1.69). First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. Following the game, fans will be treated to a fireworks show courtesy of REV Federal Credit Union.