RiverDogs Fall 9-3, Drop Three Straight Games for First Time This Season
Charleston, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs struggled in all three facets of the game in a 9-3 series-opening loss to the Columbia Fireflies on Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. The game was played in front of 2,002 fans. The RiverDogs have now lost three consecutive games for the first time in the 2021 season.
The game was scoreless into the fifth inning when errors opened the door for Columbia to grab the lead. The frame began with back-to-back singles from Gage Hughes and Omar Hernandez to place runners on the corners with no outs. Seth Johnson came back to strike out Matt Schmidt for the first out.. The next batter, Diego Hernandez, put down a bunt in front of Johnson. With the runner holding at third, Johnson fired wildly to first and the ball sailed into foul ground to give the Fireflies a 1-0 lead. Darryl Collins made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. Both runs were unearned.
In the sixth, the first two runners reached base against reliever Nomar Rojas. On another bunt back to the mound, this time from Gage Hughes, Rojas attempted to start a double play with a throw to second base. The RiverDogs took care of the runner at second, but the relay to first from Alika Williams was errant and allowed another unearned run to cross the plate.
The game turned heavily in favor of Columbia (43-46) in the seventh inning, a frame that began with RiverDogs pitching walking the first four batters. Three run-scoring singles followed in short order and a five-run inning allowed the lead to swell to 8-0. Another unearned run was put on the board by the Fireflies in the eight to make it 9-0.
Facing the prospects of being shutout for a fourth time, the RiverDogs awoke briefly in the final inning. Osleivis Basabe opened the inning with a single and Tanner Murray followed with a towering home run to left field, his second with the team. With two outs, Beau Brundage backed up a walk by Jonathan Embry with an RBI double. Those swings trimmed the deficit to 9-3, but it was not enough to change the outcome.
Johnson took the loss after allowing the two unearned runs in 4.2 innings of work. Rojas gave up four runs, three earned, in 1.1 innings out of the pen before handing the ball to Graeme Stinson who surrendered three runs, two earned, in 2.0 innings. Steffon Moore worked a scoreless ninth inning for his third consecutive scoreless appearance.
Basabe, Murray and Alexander Ovalles each finished with two hits to pace the RiverDogs. Williams singled on the first pitch in the bottom of the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, matching Curtis Mead for the longest streak of the season for a RiverDogs player.
On Dog Day at The Joe, the RiverDogs and Boeing honored both Staff Sergeant Patrick Riley of the U.S. Air Force and Ubi, his explosive detection dog. SSG Riley and Ubi, a four-year old Belgian Malinois, provide law enforcement and security at Joint Base Charleston. They were previously deployed together at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and have provided explosive detection support for the President and Vice President of the United States. Moments after their recognition in-stadium, a young fan picked up a foul ball and gave it Ubi.
The RiverDogs and Fireflies will play two, seven-inning games as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday night. The first pitch for game one is set for 5:05 p.m. with the nightcap beginning approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The RiverDogs will throw LHP Ben Brecht (3-2, 3.10) in the game one and LHP Franklin Dacosta (2-0, 1.60) in game two. Meanwhile, Columbia will the ball to LHP Emilio Marquez (6-1, 1.53) in the opener and RHP Heribert Garcia (0-0, 5.40) in the second game. The RiverDogs will wear Charleston Rainbows uniforms during game two and those jerseys will be auctioned off following the game with proceeds benefitting Charleston Pride.