RiverDogs Roll to Series Opening Victory in Columbia
Columbia, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs scored six runs in the first three innings and limited the Columbia Fireflies to three hits in a series-opening 8-1 victory on Tuesday night at Segra Park. The win lowered the team’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth and home field advantage to seven.
The RiverDogs (72-31) took the lead immediately in the top of the first inning. Garrett Hiott opened the game with a walk and was joined on base by Diego Infante, who reached on an error. In the next at bat, Tanner Murray put the RiverDogs on top with an RBI single. Beau Brundage followed with a sacrifice fly to double the advantage.
Columbia (47-56) scored their only run of the night off of Ben Brecht in the bottom of the first inning. Diego Hernandez singled and stole second base to put a man in scoring position in short order. Brecht retired the next two hitters, but Saul Garza drove in a run with an infield single to cut the lead in half. Brecht would earn the win by working 5.0 innings, during which he surrendered one run on three hits and struck out six.
In the second inning, the lead swelled to 4-1 with a sacrifice fly from Luis Leon and an RBI single by Hiott. The RiverDogs also loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning and added a run on Jonathan Embry’s fielder’s choice groundout. Before the inning concluded, Embry stole second base and drew an errant throw from catcher Omar Hernandez, leading to Brundage scoring from third and a 6-1 lead.
Brundage was involved in the lead growing in the fifth inning as well. He tripled with two outs and raced home on a throwing error from second baseman Herard Gonzalez to make the score 7-1. The final run of the contest came across in the RiverDogs sixth on an RBI double from Leon.
The RiverDogs bullpen was dominant after Brecht departed, posting 4.0 scoreless innings without allowing a hit. Nomar Rojas worked a pair of innings, Ian Leatherman made his Charleston debut in the eighth and Graeme Stinson finished the game on the hill.
Seven different members of the RiverDogs lineup registered at least one of the team’s ten hits. Murray led the way with three hits, while Hiott added two.
The second game of the series will take place on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Sandy Gaston (1-0, 2.12) will take his turn in the rotation for the RiverDogs. Columbia will counter with LHP Rylan Kaufman (2-3, 4.38).