RiverDogs Hold Columbia to Two Hits in 3-1 Series-Opening Win
Charleston, SC— Four Charleston RiverDogs pitchers combined to limit the Columbia Fireflies to just two hits on the way to a 3-1 win in the first game of the series on Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. The game was played in front of 3,288 fans. With the win, the RiverDogs moved into first place in the South Division of the Low-A East.
The RiverDogs (19-12) scored single runs in each of the first two innings against Columbia starter Rylan Kaufman to jump in front 2-0. In the first, Curtis Mead singled with two outs and advanced to second on a passed ball, allowing Diego Infante to plate him with an opposite field single. The RiverDogs loaded the bases in the second inning with no outs, but settled for a single run when Luis Leon bounced into a 5-3 double play and Johan Lopez lined out to left.
Columbia (18-12) mustered their only offense in the top of the third. RiverDogs starter Jose Lopez walked Omar Hernandez to start the frame, but bounced back to strike out the next two hitters. A wild pitch allowed Hernandez to advance into scoring position and Tyler Tolbert took advantage with a shallow single to right that cut the lead in half.
From that point forward, the pitching staff of the RiverDogs was outstanding. They allowed just one more hit over the final six innings of the game, a Hernandez single in the fifth. Lopez went 4.0 innings, allowing one run on one hit. Steffon Moore earned the win by tossing 1.2 scoreless innings. Andrew Gross extended his scoreless innings streak to 19.0 by pitching 2.1 perfect frames. Finally, Colby White earned his fourth save by striking out the side in the ninth.
The RiverDogs added one more run in the seventh inning when Leon followed a triple by Alexander Ovalles with an RBI single. Infante and Ovalles each collected two hits as the team finished with eight.
Prior to the game, a ceremonial first pitch was delivered by the caped “Captain Active” of Island Brands USA, the Charleston-based beer brand that helps bring “Dog Day” to The Joe. He was joined in the ballpark by several Great Danes, as the large dogs were featured with a pre-game parade.
The second installment of the series will take place on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Cole Wilcox (1-0, 1.67) will take the ball for the RiverDogs against RHP Adrian Alcantara (2-2, 3.66) of the Fireflies. The team is planning to pack the park with fans on a Wicked Weed Wednesday.