Vernon Dominates, Williams and Vasquez Hit Back-to-Back Homers in Series-Opening Win
Charleston, SC - Carson Williams and Willy Vasquez blasted back-to-back solo home runs in the seventh inning to lead the Charleston RiverDogs to a series-opening 5-3 win over the Salem Red Sox on Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Austin Vernon made sure the lead stuck by striking out nine of the final ten batters he faced to earn his seventh win of the season.
The game entered the seventh inning tied 3-3. Salem (28-24) reliever Tyler Uberstine had held the RiverDogs off the board for his first 4.0 innings on the mound. He also retired the first two batters of the frame, bringing Williams to the plate with the bases empty. The shortstop worked the count into his favor before breaking the tie with his seventh home run of the season. Vasquez fell behind in the count in his at-bat, but jumped all over an 0-2 pitch from Uberstine, lining a home run of his own over the left field wall. The round-tripper was his second of the season.
Vernon entered the game with a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning. He allowed a game-tying solo home run to Marcelo Mayer, the second batter he faced. After that, the right-hander would not allow another hit the rest of the way, tossing 5.0 innings with 10 strikeouts. Vernon now has more strikeouts than any other pitcher in the Carolina League and is tied for the most wins.
The RiverDogs jumped in front in the second inning. With two on and one out, Oneill Manzueta gave the home team a 1-0 lead with an RBI single off the glove of the first baseman. With runners at the corners, Red Sox starter Reidis Sena committed a balk to force in a second run. The final damage of the frame came on an RBI single from Ryan Spikes to make it 3-0.
The Red Sox answered back in the bottom of the third inning against Christian Fernandez. Eddinson Paulino worked a leadoff walk and Brainer Bonaci immediately followed with an RBI triple. Mayer’s groundball to second base in the next at-bat cut the RiverDogs lead to 3-2. Fernandez would allow two runs on two hits and four walks in 4.0 innings of work. He struck out five.
Nick Schnell was the only batter in the game to record multiple hits, finishing the night 2-4. Salem was limited to only three hits, two of them of the extra-base variety.
The RiverDogs opened the series with another Dog Day presented by Twisted Tea. The featured canine of the night was the English Bulldog. There were a large amount of English Bulldogs around the ballpark and some competed in mid-inning contests. One owner competed against her pup in a race to see who was quicker to lick a plate covered in peanut butter clean.
The RiverDogs and Red Sox will be back at it in the second installment of the series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. This Wednesday game features another wicked ticket deal. Buy one Upper Reserved ticket and get another for free with the code: WD0608. RHP Daiveyon Whittle (0-1, 2.45) of the RiverDogs will battle Red Sox RHP Wikelmin Gonzalez (2-1, 3.82).
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