Nine-Run First Inning Helps RiverDogs Outslug Columbia 19-10

The Charleston RiverDogs announced their 2021 roster on Friday
The Charleston RiverDogs announced their 2021 roster on Friday(Live 5 News)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 9:31 AM EDT
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Columbia, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs scored nine runs on eight hits in the opening frame and never looked back in a 19-10 win over the Columbia Fireflies on Wednesday night at Segra Park. The RiverDogs sent a combined 22 hitters to the plate in the first two innings and led 17-1 at the midpoint of the contest.

In the top of the first inning, which lasted 34 minutes, the RiverDogs (73-31) sent 13 men to the batters’ box and chased starter Rylan Kaufman after 0.1 innings. The nine runs scored in the frame were the most scored in the opening inning by the RiverDogs this season and matched their highest total in any inning. The eight hits were a season-high for a single inning. Beau Brundage, Patrick Merino, Alexander Ovalles, Johan Lopez, Diego Infante and Tanner Murray all drove in at least one run in the rally. Lopez did his damage with a two-run home run, his eighth of the season.

In the second, Charleston put five more runs on the board. The RiverDogs loaded the bases with no outs and scored the first run of the frame on an RBI single by Lopez. Luis Leon worked a bases loaded walk to force in another run, a passed ball made it 12-0 and Murray lined a two-run double to the left-center gap for a 14-0 lead.

Ovalles drove in two more runs with a triple in the fifth and scored when Lopez lofted a sacrifice fly to center field. The Fireflies had scored their first run of the night in the bottom of the second inning, so the RiverDogs held a 17-1 lead entering the home half of the fifth. Sandy Gaston came back out for a fifth inning of work, but allowed two singles and a pair of walks before being removed with one run already in and the bases loaded. Audry Lugo replaced him and allowed the three runners he inherited and two additional runs to score as Columbia moved within 17-7. Gaston was tagged for five runs in 4.1 innings on five hits and four walks.

The teams traded two runs in each half of the sixth, leading to a 19-9 score as the final frame began. Juan Carlos Negret smacked a leadoff home run in the ninth to put the final run on the board. The long ball was his league-leading 22nd of the season and Negret also passed Infante for the league lead in runs batted in by driving in four during the contest.

Of the 18 hitters in the two lineups, 15 registered at least one hit in the game. Brundage led the way with a 4-5 showing that included two RBI and three runs scored. Infante and Murray each added three hits to the cause. Merino, Ovalles and Lopez finished with two hits each. Ovalles drove in five runs and Lopez collected four RBI.

Lugo allowed two runs in 0.2 innings out of the bullpen. Juan Rivera made his RiverDogs debut, allowing two unearned runs in 2.0 innings with four strikeouts. Joe LaSorsa finished the game by pitching the final two innings, allowing one run while striking out four.

The teams will continue the series with game three on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. The RiverDogs will call on RHP Victor Munoz in his first appearance with the team. Columbia will have RHP Adrian Alcantara (5-7, 4.72) on the hill.