Pitching Cools Columbia Bats as RiverDogs Earn 5-2 Victory
Charleston, SC— For the second time in three nights, the Charleston RiverDogs limited the Columbia Fireflies to just a pair of hits. On Thursday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, that effort resulted in a 5-2 win in front of 4,356 fans. The win gave the RiverDogs a 0.5 game lead in the South Division standings.
The RiverDogs (20-13) jumped in front with a pair of runs in the first inning. Curtis Mead singled to right field with one out and quickly stole second base to move himself into scoring position. With two outs, Diego Infante rolled a 3-0 pitch through the right side to score Mead and put the RiverDogs in front 1-0. In the next at bat, Alexander Ovalles dropped a shallow fly ball in between several Columbia defensive players for an RBI double that increased the lead to 2-0.
The Fireflies (19-13) worked hard to tie the game in the middle innings. Charleston starter Graeme Stinson walked the first two batters of the second and Tyler Tolbert reached via an infield single to load the bases with one out. Felix Familia followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead in half. In the fifth inning, Jake Means promptly pulled Columbia even with a solo home run to left off of Seth Johnson.
The long ball would be the final hit of the game for Columbia as the RiverDogs bullpen dominated the rest of the way. Johnson ended up working 5.0 impressive innings, allowing the one run on one hit and striking out six. Trevor Brigden, in his return from a stint with Team Canada, finished the game by retiring all six batters he faced over the eighth and ninth innings. Stinson departed after 2.0 innings at the outset of the game, having surrendered one run on one hit with two walks.
With the score tied in the bottom of the fifth, Luis Leon opened the inning with a double down the right field line. He moved to third on a balk by Delvin Capellan and was in prime position to put the RiverDogs back in front. However, Capellan induced Johan Lopez into a shallow fly ball and struck out Abiezel Ramirez to give himself an opportunity to escape. That changed when Nick Schnell drove a 3-0 pitch over the wall in left for his team-leading sixth home run of the season. The round-tripper put the RiverDogs back in front 4-2 and Alexander Ovalles added a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to reach the final margin of 5-2.
Six different RiverDogs combined for the team’s seven hits with Infante providing the only multi-hit effort. Schnell, Mead, Infante, Ovalles and Brett Wisely all collected a single hit to extend their personal hit streaks to five games or more.
The RiverDogs brought back live music to The Joe on a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday for the first time in 2021. DJ Ynot entertained fans with music throughout the game near the Ashley View Pub.
The teams will meet for the fourth game of the series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Luis Moncada (0-0, 5.79) will toe the rubber for the RiverDogs against Columbia RHP Ben Hernandez (0-1, 3.86). Fans are encouraged to wear red in support of military members just as the team will do on the field on Boeing Red Shirt Friday. Following the game, be sure to stick around for fireworks presented by REV Federal Credit Union.