Leon Walks Off Fireflies; RiverDogs Fall Just Short of First Half Title
Charleston, SC -The Charleston RiverDogs won in exciting fashion on Thursday night, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and walked off the Columbia Fireflies by a score of 3-2 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of a crowd of 4, 830. Unfortunately, the push for a playoff spot fell just short as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (47-19) took the Carolina League South Division by one game over the RiverDogs (46-20), as they defeated the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 8-7 in 10 innings.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Bobby Seymour hit a double off the wall in right field to start the two-out rally. Then, down to his last strike, Shane Sasaki hit a bloop single into center field to bring home Seymour. After that, the Fireflies brought in Luis Barroso to face Luis Leon to and try to seal the win for the Fireflies. On the first pitch of the at bat, Leon crushed a ball to right field that cleared the wall for a two-run home run to end the game and secure the win for the RiverDogs; their second walk off win of the year.
The Fireflies (18-48) got on the board first in the top of the third inning. RiverDogs starter Antonio Jimenez walked the bases loaded to start the inning. With no outs, Omar Florentino hit into a double play, scoring the first run of the game. Then, with two strikes and a runner on third base, Carter Jensen hit an RBI single into right field to make it a 2-0 game.
The RiverDogs threatened multiple times in the game, including the fifth inning. Seymour led off the inning with a double and advance to third on a single by Logan Allen. After Jelfry Marte was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Ryan Spikes struck out to end the inning.
Jimenez went 5.0 innings for the RiverDogs, giving up two runs on one hit, while walking three and striking out six. He gave way to Austin Vernon, who went the final 4.0 innings, allowing no runs and striking out eight. Vernon picked up the win in relief to improve to 9-0 on the season. Meanwhile, Barroso (1-3) took the loss for the Fireflies.
Tonight, those 18 and older that attended the game were able to participate in RiverDogs Rent Free Night. Fans received one opportunity to show off their cup pong skills with a chance be entered into the contest to win $1,000 towards their next month’s rent.
The RiverDogs will have another chance to clinch a playoff spot, as the second half of the Carolina League season starts tomorrow. Each team will have a clean slate as they try to take the final spots in the 2022 postseason.
Game four of this six-game series continues on Friday night at 7:05. RHP Christian Fernandez (5-1, 2.64) toes the rubber for the RiverDogs, while RHP Shane Panzini (0-1, 3.52) takes the hill for the Fireflies on another Boeing Red Shirt Friday at The Joe. After the game, fans will be entertained by a fireworks show presented by REV Federal Credit Union.
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