Stellar Sixth Inning Pushes RiverDogs to Seventh Straight Win
Columbia, SC - A six-run sixth inning was the difference as the Charleston RiverDogs came from behind to knock off the Columbia Fireflies 7-4 on Saturday night at Segra Park. In the sixth-inning explosion, Matt Dyer’s two-run home run was the 110th round-tripper hit by the RiverDogs in 2021, breaking the team’s record for home runs in a single season.
The sixth inning began with the RiverDogs (76-31) trailing 3-0. Tanner Murray opened the frame with a double to left field and Dyer’s home run quickly trimmed the deficit to one. In the next at-bat, Garrett Hiott reached on an infield single and advanced to second on an errant throw by the third baseman. A single by Jonathan Embry and right side groundout from Patrick Merino left runners on second and third with one out. Johan Lopez dropped an RBI single into shallow center to tie the game 3-3. A strikeout of Luis Leon by Heribert Garcia gave Columbia a chance to escape with the score tied, but Osleivis Basabe put the RiverDogs on top with a two-run double. Moments later, Diego Infante lined a base hit to center field that brought Basabe home and increased the lead to 6-3.
The Fireflies (47-60) cut the lead to 6-4 with a triple by Peyton Wilson and RBI infield hit from Juan Carlos Negret in the eighth. However, the RiverDogs pushed the margin back to three when Infante and Murray hit back-to-back doubles in the ninth inning. Joe LaSorsa closed the game out with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his third save of the season.
Columbia grabbed the initial lead in the second inning when Antonio Jimenez walked Enrique Valdez, allowed the runner to advance to third on a wild pick-off throw and then unleashed a wild pitch resulting in Valdez crossing the plate. The advantage grew in the fourth when two runs scored on Luca Tresh’s slow roller to third with two in scoring position.
The RiverDogs outhit Columbia 14-5 and had six different players register multiple hits. Infante led the way with three and extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the process. Basabe, Murray, Dyer, Embry and Lopez each finished with two.
Jimenez earned the win by working 5.0 innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits. Nomar Rojas was stellar as the first man out of the pen, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings with four strikeouts as he lowered his earned run average to 2.14.
The RiverDogs will clinch a spot in the Low-A East Championship Series on Sunday with a win over Columbia in the series finale or a loss by Down East earlier in the day. LHP Franklin Dacosta (3-0, 2.30) will start for the RiverDogs against RHP Wander Arias (0-1, 7.45) of Columbia. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m.