Pitching Rules as RiverDogs Split Saturday Doubleheader
Charleston, SC- The Charleston RiverDogs were three outs away from a sweep of Saturday’s doubleheader at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Following a 3-0 win in game one, the home team allowed two runs in the top of the seventh as the Columbia Fireflies salvaged a split with a 2-1 victory in the nightcap. The games were played in front of a standing room only crowd of 5,948.
In the first contest, starting pitchers Marcus Johnson of Charleston and Mauricio Veliz of Columbia dueled for 4.0 scoreless innings. Lefty Michael Sansone made his RiverDogs debut with 2.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. The RiverDogs offense had mustered only two hits to that point, so the game remained tied 0-0.
That was still the case when the bottom of the sixth began. Xavier Isaac worked a two-out walk against Chazz Martinez and was still on first base with two outs as Ryan Spikes came to the plate. The second baseman came through with a base hit and Estanli Castillo worked another walk to load the bases. Carlos Colmenarez battled Martinez and eventually worked a walk of his own to force in the game’s first run. Christopher Barete drove in two more runs with a single into center off Cooper McKeehan to make it 3-0.
Cade Halemanu earned his first save of the season with a scoreless seventh inning. The victory was the team’s first shutout win of the campaign. Columbia outhit the RiverDogs 5-4 in the contest. Jean Ramirez led the Fireflies with two hits and Barete paced the RiverDogs with a pair of his own.
The offense was equally as tough to come by in the second game. The RiverDogs (3-4) jumped in front when Chandler Simpson beat out an infield single and stole second base with two outs in the third inning. Isaac followed with an RBI single to hand the Dogs a 1-0 advantage.
Stranding four runners on base over the remaining four innings, the RiverDogs continued to hold a 1-0 lead as the final inning began. Matt Wyatt surrendered a leadoff single to Lizandro Rodriguez, before walking the next two hitters to load the bases. Roger Leyton put the Fireflies (3-3) on top with a two-run single to center in the next at-bat. The RiverDogs put the tying run on base but could not score in the bottom of the inning.
Jonny Cuevas was effective in 4.0 scoreless innings at the outset of the contest, allowing just one hit. Jeff Hakanson followed out of the bullpen, striking out four in 2.0 solid innings of his own. Wyatt was charged with two runs on two hits and two walks in the final frame.
In the nightcap, the RiverDogs collected six hits. Spikes was responsible for two of them. Columbia received a pair of knocks from Junior Calderon to reach the team’s total of five.
A season-high 5,948 fans flooded to the ballpark for a replica ring giveaway in the mold of the team’s 2022 Carolina League championship rings. Hundreds of fans donned ponchos, and stuck around for the conclusion of both contests, to take part in a champagne shower in the seating bowl.
The first homestand of the season concludes on Sunday afternoon at 5:05 p.m. RHP Yoniel Curet (0-0, 9.00) will take the hill for the RiverDogs as they aim to gain a series split. Columbia sets their sights on winning the series with LHP Frank Mozzicato (0-0, 0.00) on the bump. Parking is free and kids can run the bases after the game on an MUSC Health Family Sunday.
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