RiverDogs Can’t Hold Early Leads in 6-5 Loss to Down East
Kinston, NC - The Down East Wood Ducks scored three runs in each of the first two innings against Sandy Gaston on Thursday night. Despite not scoring again over the final six innings, the Wood Ducks emerged with a 6-5 win over the Charleston RiverDogs at Grainger Stadium. Down East leads the season-series 6-3.
Matt Dyer helped the RiverDogs (81-36) to a promising start in the top of the first inning. He homered for the third straight game to hand the visitors a 2-0 advantage. Dyer has 12 home runs on the season with one in three straight games. The long ball also extended his hitting streak to 11 games. The lead was short-lived as Down East’s Cristian Inoa answered with a three-run blast in the bottom of the first.
In the second inning, Johan Lopez and Alexander Ovalles opened the frame with consecutive singles to put runners on the corners. The pair then executed a double steal to tie the game. Garrett Hiott extended the inning with a two-out walk and Beau Brundage cashed in with an RBI single to give the RiverDogs a 4-3 advatange.
Once again, Down East (70-47) countered in a hurry. The bottom of the frame began with Gaston walking Keyber Rodriguez. The RiverDogs attempted to turn two on a groundball from Randy Florentino, but a throwing error resulted in the hitter advancing to second. Daniel Mateo tied the game with a double to left field. A Ben Troike error allowed Jayce Easley to reach base and Mateo to advance to third. The mistake was costly as Aaron Zavala gave Down East a 5-4 lead with an RBI single and Inoa drove in another run two batters later to make it 6-4.
The RiverDogs scored the final run of the game in the sixth on an RBI single from Hiott. Down East won the hit column 9-7 and Charleston committed the only two errors in the game. The RiverDogs received two hits each from Lopez and Ovalles.
Gaston was handed the loss, allowing six runs, four earned, in 5.0 innings. He struck out four and walked the same number. Audry Lugo and Joe LaSorsa each worked 2.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, combining for six strikeouts.
Down East is now tied with the Salem Red Sox for the final spot in the Low-A East Championship series. Salem owns the tiebreaker between the two clubs. Game four of the series is set for 7:00 p.m. on Friday night. RHP Victor Munoz (0-0, 1.50) will start for the RiverDogs in a meeting with Down East RHP Mason Englert (6-3, 4.70).