RiverDogs Open Series with Rain-Shortened Win over Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach, SC— The Charleston RiverDogs continued to battle the weather in the first game of a series in Myrtle Beach at TicketReturn.com Field on Tuesday night. However, this time the rain came after the game had been made official and the RiverDogs were rewarded with a 9-5 win over the Pelicans in a contest that lasted seven innings.
The RiverDogs (22-13) exploded for five runs in the top of the first inning against Pelicans starting pitcher Manuel Espinoza. Heriberto Hernandez was hit by a pitch and Curtis Mead followed immediately with a two-run home run to put the RiverDogs on top. Charleston loaded the bases with one out when Diego Infante singled, Nick Schnell doubled and Alexander Ovalles walked. Osleivis Basabe hit a chopper to the left side in the next at bat, but the Pelicans could not get an out and another run scored. An Espinoza wild pitch plated another run and the inning closed with a sacrifice fly from Michael Berglund that made it 5-0.
The lead swelled to 7-0 by the mid-point of the fourth inning with a double steal by Brett Wisely and Mead with runners on the corners in the second and then a sacrifice fly from Wisely in the fourth. Myrtle Beach (17-19) closed the gap when Ryan Reynolds launched a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth off of Ben Brecht.
The RiverDogs responded with a sacrifice fly from Hernandez in the top of the fifth to stretch the lead to 8-3, but the Pelicans came back again. A hit batter, a single and an error allowed them to load the bases for Pablo Aliendo. The designated hitter chased Brecht from the game and pulled Myrtle Beach within three by lining a double off of the wall. Jose Lopez entered from the bullpen with runners on second and third and two outs. The lefty gave up a line drive toward the gap in left center, but Schnell raced over and made a fantastic catch to rob Luis Verdugo of extra bases.
Before the rain halted the game, the RiverDogs tacked on one more run in the seventh. Basabe doubled with one out and Michael Berglund followed with a base hit through the left side to put men on the corners. Abiezel Ramirez put down a perfectly executed safety squeeze bunt back to the mound to score Basabe and make it 9-5. Lopez stranded a baserunner in the bottom of the inning and before the next frame began, the teams were waved off the field as the rain intensified. After a 23-minute delay, the game was ruled official.
The RiverDogs received at least one hit from seven different players and were led by Mead’s 3-4 effort with a double and a home run. The Australian has matched his own season-best hitting streak at nine games. Berglund and Basabe each finished with two hits. Schnell and Wisely increased their hitting streaks to eight games and Infante stretched his to seven.
Brecht allowed five runs, three earned, in 4.2 innings with four strikeouts. Lopez picked up the win by tossing 2.1 scoreless innings while also striking out four.
The series resumes on Wednesday night with another 7:05 p.m. first pitch. RHP Cole Wilcox (1-0, 1.69) will be on the mound for the RiverDogs. Myrtle Beach will counter with LHP Adam Laskey (0-2, 10.07).