Walk-off wild pitch leaves RiverDogs just short in regular season finale

RiverDogs fall in last regular season game
RiverDogs fall in last regular season game
Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 10:34 PM EDT
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Columbia, SC- The Columbia Fireflies scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the second of which came on a wild pitch, to stun the Charleston RiverDogs 4-3 in the final game of the regular season. The RiverDogs finished the regular season with 88 wins, the most in franchise history.

The RiverDogs (42-24, 88-44) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning but missed a chance for much more damage. Bobby Seymour opened the inning with a single before Luinder Avila walked the next two hitters to load the bases. Ryan Spikes went after the first pitch and bounced into a 5-4 double play as the first run of the game crossed home plate. Avila walked two more batters before the inning ended but the RiverDogs failed to push across another run.

In his final start of the regular season, Cole Wilcox was perfect. He tossed 3.0 scoreless innings without allowing a baserunner, inducing six groundballs and striking out three. The offense continued building on their advantage as Kenny Piper doubled the lead with a solo home run, his fifth, in the fourth inning and Bobby Seymour tacked on an RBI single with two outs in the fifth.

Reliever Sean Harney escaped one jam, leaving runners on the corners in the fourth, but was not as fortunate in the fifth. He walked Dayton Dooney to open the inning and then Levi Usher split the gap with a double to left center. Harney came back to strike out the next two batters, giving him a chance to keep Columbia (34-31, 52-79) off the board. However, Jean Ramirez lined a 3-2 pitch off the glove of a leaping Willy Vasquez at third to score a pair. Harney was charged with two runs allowed in 2.0 innings.

The score remained 3-2 entering the last of the ninth. Aneudy Cortorreal allowed a leadoff double to Cayden Wallace and Javier Vaz pushed him to third with a single to right. A groundball by Dooney to first base allowed the tying run to score and moved the winning run to second. Levi Usher’s groundball advanced that runner to third, allowing Vaz to score the winning run when Piper was unable to block a breaking ball in the dirt.

Cortorreal was saddled with the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in 0.2 innings. Daiveyon Whittle and Sandy Gaston combined for 3.0 scoreless innings and three strikeouts leading up to the fateful final frame.

Carson Williams and Seymour each posted two hits to lead the RiverDogs seven-hit effort. Columbia tallied six hits with only Ramirez providing more than one.

The focus now shifts to game one of the South Division Championship Series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The best-of-three showdown begins at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are buy one, get one free and the first 1,500 fans into the stadium will receive a RiverDogs playoff t-shirt thanks to Nucor Steel. In addition, $1 beers will be available throughout the ballpark courtesy of Budweiser.

Tickets for the RiverDogs first playoff game on Tuesday, September 13 are on sale now. They are buy one, get one free. The first 1,500 fans will receive a playoff t-shirt and $1 beers will be available throughtout the ballpark. RiverDogs season tickets, flexible ticket plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are available at //riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS).