Sasaki’s huge day pushes RiverDogs to 9-6 win

Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 1:50 PM EDT
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NORTH AUGUSTA, SC - Shane Sasaki went 4-5 with four extra-base hits as the Charleston RiverDogs got back in the win column with a 9-6 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets at SRP Park on Saturday night. Sasaki became the second RiverDogs player to hit two home runs in a single game and added a double and triple.

Sasaki began the game with a solo home run to left field off of Rainiery Rodriguez to hand the RiverDogs (29-18, 75-38) a 1-0 lead. Carson Williams followed with a single, but Rodriguez held them without a baserunner for the next 3.0 innings, retiring 13 consecutive batters at one point.

While Rodriguez was dealing, Augusta (22-24, 58-54) grabbed the lead. The GreenJackets collected three consecutive singles off of Antonio Jimenez with two outs in the second inning. The last of those singles, off the bat of Ethan Workinger, drove in two runs. Adam Zebrowski chipped in another two-out RBI in the third to make it 3-1 in the home team’s favor. Jimenez went 5.0 innings and allowed three runs on five hits while striking out seven.

Charleston finally found their bats once again in the sixth. With Rodriguez still on the mound, Christian Johnson opened the frame with an opposite-field single to right. Sasaki followed with his second home run of the game, this time to left center, pulling the RiverDogs even at 3-3. Williams was hit by a pitch and raced to second on a wild pitch. He scored on Willy Vasquez’s chopper that bounced over the third baseman’s head for a 4-3 advantage.

Insurance was added over the next two frames with Julio Meza driving in Daiwer Castellanos with an infield single in the seventh and Castellanos driving in two runs of his own in the eighth to stretch the margin to 7-3. Augusta wasn’t finished, getting to Jack Snyder in the eighth. Two hits and a groundball to third pushed one across and left another at second with one out. Kadon Morton hammered his eighth home run of the season over the left field wall to move the GreenJackets within 7-6.

The top of the order did more damage in the top of the ninth to give the RiverDogs more separation. Sasaki opened that inning by driving a triple into the right field corner. Williams worked the count to 3-2 in the next at-bat, crushing a fastball from Peyton Williams over the center field wall and off the batter’s eye for his team-leading 16th home run of the campaign. Roel Garcia made his RiverDogs debut by working a scoreless ninth inning and earning the save.

Aneudy Cortorreal was the winning pitcher, tossing a scoreless sixth and seventh inning with three strikeouts. Snyder allowed three runs on four hits in his 2.0 frames on the mound.

Sasaki’s 4-5 effort pushed him into the Carolina League lead with a .320 batting average. Williams and Castellanos each added two hits of their own. Augusta received three hits from Zebrowski and Braulio Vasquez.

The final meeting of the season between the two teams is slated for Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. The match-up on the mound is scheduled to be a rematch from Tuesday’s series-opener. RHP Over Galue (10-2, 4.03) will toss for the RiverDogs and RHP Jorge Bautista (0-4, 12.63) will take the hill for the GreenJackets.