Vasquez Walks Off GreenJackets in Continuation of Dramatic Series
Charleston, SC - Willy Vasquez drove a 2-0 pitch over the head of right fielder Brandol Mezquita to hand the Charleston RiverDogs their third walk-off win of the season by a 5-4 margin over the Augusta GreenJackets on Wednesday night. The dramatic victory followed on the heels of a comeback win over the GreenJackets on Monday night in a game the RiverDogs once trailed by seven. Charleston improved to 7-1 at home against Augusta this season in front of a crowd of 2,697.
The RiverDogs (51-26) entered the final frame with a 4-3 lead and Jack Snyder looking to earn his sixth save of the season. The leadoff hitter in the inning, Adam Zebrowski, singled through the left side to start a rally. A balk by Snyder immediately moved the runner into scoring position with no outs. Zebrowski moved to third base on Kadon Morton’s chopper to short before being replaced by pinch-runner Connor Blair. Cal Conley’s fielder’s choice groundball to second tied the game moments later.
In the bottom half of the inning, Darling Florentino hit Jelfry Marte with his first pitch. His next offering was rolled through the left side by Shane Sasaki for a base hit. The third pitch from the right-hander bounced all the way to the backstop and moved the winning run to third with no outs. The next two batters could not drive Marte in so Vasquez strode to the plate with two outs. After working the count in his favor, he won the game with the opposite field line drive.
Vasquez had also provided the home team with an early advantage, putting them on the board with a two-run double in the first inning. An RBI single from Ryan Spikes made it 3-0 after two.
Augusta (38-39) pulled within one during the top of the third, taking advantage of two walks from Christian Fernandez and a passed ball charged to catcher Julio Meza. One of Fernandez’s free passes occurred with the bases loaded and forced in a run. The RiverDogs pushed the lead to 4-2 when Oneill Manzueta scored on second baseman Chad Durbin’s error in the bottom of the same inning. Brandol Mezquita drove in a run with a single in the fifth to make it 4-3 and set the stage for the ninth inning drama.
Sasaki paced all hitters in the contest by going 3-5 with a run scored. Spikes and Vasquez each collected two hits as part of the RiverDogs 10-hit showing. Augusta finished with eight hits, receiving two each from Mezquita, Zebrowski and Stephen Paolini.
Snyder suffered his first blown save, but earned the victory after allowing one run in 1.2 innings. Juan Rivero tossed 1.1 scoreless, hitless innings as the penultimate pitcher used by the RiverDogs. Fernandez, the starter, worked 4.0 innings in which he surrendered two runs, one earned, on five hits. Kamron Fields allowed a single run in 2.0 innings as the first man out of the pen.
Fans at this midweek contest were treated to a star-studded pre-game. Ceremonial first pitches were delivered by Mr. Montzingo, a teacher and Tiktok star with over four million followers and Miss South Carolina, Sydney Ford. In addition, actor, musician and songwriter Charles Esten performed the National Anthem.
The third game of the series is set for Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Daiveyon Whittle (0-4, 4.59) will get the nod on the mound for the RiverDogs against Augusta RHP AJ Smith-Shawver (1-4, 4.85). On the second Military Appreciation Night of the season, active and retired military members and their families can receive free tickets to the game by calling the RiverDogs office. Also, beers around the ballpark will be just $1 on a Thirsty Thursday™ presented by Budweiser.
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