RiverDogs Use Big First Inning to Win Third Straight over Fireflies
Charleston, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning and held on down the stretch in a 5-4 victory over the Columbia Fireflies on Thursday night at Joseph P. Riley Park. After a 56-minute delay because of rain, the contest was played in front of 3,087 fans. The RiverDogs had three pitchers combine to strike out 19 Columbia hitters, the team’s most in a nine-inning game this season.
After the delay, the RiverDogs (66-27) opened the contest with a bang. In the bottom of the first inning, Osleivis Basabe singled up the middle and progressed to third via a wild pitch and a passed ball. Jonathan Embry followed with a base hit of his own to give the RiverDogs a 1-0 lead. Columbia starter Anderson Paulino rebounded to strike out the next two hitters, but then surrendered an RBI single to Alexander Ovalles. The next batter, Beau Brundage, smacked a two-run home run to right field to increase the margin to 4-0. The long ball was Brundage’s third since joining the RiverDogs on August 1.
Burle Dixon put Columbia on the board with a solo home run in the third inning off of Sandy Gaston. The RiverDogs answered in short order, regaining a 5-1 lead with Michael Berglund’s run-scoring single in the fourth.
Columbia (43-50) managed to tighten the game slowly, scoring one run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings off of Matthew Peguero. Herard Gonzalez brought in a run with his sixth inning double, Jean Ramirez homered for the first time in 2021 with one out in the seventh and a wild pitch allowed a run to score in the eighth. With the tying run on second base, Jose Lopez struck out Enrique Valdez to end the threat.
The RiverDogs carried a 5-4 lead into the ninth inning where Lopez would strike out the side around a two-error by second baseman Abiezel Ramirez. The southpaw earned the save by striking out four in 1.1 innings. Peguero was the winning pitcher after allowing three runs in 3.2 innings with six strikeouts. Gaston collected a career-high nine strikeouts over 4.0 innings and allowed just one run on two hits.
Diego Infante, Brundage and Berglund each finished the game with two hits. The RiverDogs went 3-13 with runners in scoring position.
On the penultimate Budweiser Thirsty Thursday of the season, the RiverDogs turned back the clock to the ‘70s. Fans who dressed in attire from that decade received $5 in Doggie Dollars to be spent around The Joe. Music between innings and even the team’s intro video before taking the field featured a ‘70s theme.
The RiverDogs will aim for a fourth consecutive victory in the fifth game of the series on Friday night. LHP Luis Moncada (5-2, 2.64) will take the baseball for the RiverDogs with LHP Rylan Kaufman (2-3, 4.43) toeing the rubber for the Fireflies. It is Military Appreciation Night at the ballpark with military members and their families receiving free tickets by calling the box office. In addition, it’s Opera Night at The Joe alongside the Holy City Arts and Lyric Opera. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.