RiverDogs Squash Fireflies, Move Within One Win of Playoffs
Columbia, SC- The Charleston RiverDogs saved one of their best offensive performances of the season for when it mattered most, crushing the Columbia Fireflies 15-3 in the first game of the final series of the regular season at Segra Park on Tuesday. The 15 runs were a season-high and came on the strength of 14 hits, eight of which went for extra-bases. The RiverDogs need one more win to clinch a postseason berth.
The offense was clicking from the beginning of the contest for the RiverDogs (38-23, 84-43). With two outs in the first inning, Junior Caminero lined a double to right and Bobby Seymour drove him in with a single in the next at-bat. The visitors did all of the scoring in bunches for the remainder of the game, beginning in the second. Brock Jones started the frame with a double and came home to double the lead on Oneill Manzueta’s single to right. Kenny Piper followed with a single, putting two on base for the top of the lineup. Shane Sasaki took advantage by lining a three-run home run, his ninth of the year, to the seats above the left field wall. Carson Williams followed with his 19th long ball of the campaign marking the fifth time the RiverDogs have hit back-to-back home runs this season. His solo blast made it 6-0 .
Gavin Cross put Columbia (33-27, 51-75) on the board against Cole Wilcox with a two-run home run in the third inning. Those were the only runs allowed by Wilcox in 3.0 innings. He struck out four and allowed four hits.
Unfazed, the bats broke out again in a big fourth inning. Williams increased the lead by one run with an RBI double that rattled the wall in left center. Following a walk to Caminero, Seymour provided another big swing, this time launching a three-run home run to right field that increased the margin to 10-2. The round-tripper was his 12th of the campaign.
Alex Ayala Jr. issued a wild pitch with a runner on third base in the eighth, allowing the Fireflies to score one more run. The southpaw was brilliant otherwise, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing the lone run on three hits while whiffing seven. He earned his third win.
In the top of the ninth, the RiverDogs ended any hopes of a Columbia comeback by hanging five runs on Marlin Willis. The frame began with consecutive walks and a Caminero RBI single to right field. Willy Vasquez tacked on a sacrifice fly to make it 12-3. In the next three at-bats, Jones tripled home a run, Spikes lined an RBI single to left and Manzueta drove in Spikes with a double off the center field wall for a 15-3 margin. Aneudy Cortorreal ended the game by striking out the side in the ninth
Eight of the nine players in the RiverDogs lineup registered a hit. Manzueta led the way by going 3-5 with a double and two runs batted in. Williams, Caminero, Seymour and Jones each had two hits. Caminero stretched his hitting streak to 12 games. Columbia was led by Cross’s two hits.
The RiverDogs will aim to secure their spot in the postseason on Wednesday night with a first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. RHP JJ Goss (4-5, 3.99) will get the nod for the RiverDogs. Columbia tries to stave off elimination with LHP Frank Mozzicato (2-6, 4.21).
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