RiverDogs Edge Hillcats 4-3 Thursday Night
Charleston, SC- The Charleston RiverDogs collected 11 hits, and did just enough with them, to earn a 4-3 win over the Lynchburg Hillcats at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Thursday night. Odalys Peguero’s RBI single through the right side in the bottom of the seventh inning provided the decisive run in front of a boisterous crowd of 5,333.
For a third straight contest, it was the visiting Hillcats (11-13) that struck first. In starting pitcher Yoniel Curet’s final inning on the mound, Jose Palermo worked a walk with one out. Palermo raced around the bases to score on Nathan Furman’s ensuing RBI triple as Lynchburg took the lead. Tyresse Turner doubled the advantage with a sacrifice fly in the next at-bat. Curet allowed two runs in 3.0 innings of work, issuing four walks.
With reliever Jake Christianson on the bump in the fifth, Lynchburg extended the lead. Zachary Fascia provided a leadoff single and moved into scoring position on another walk to Palermo. Xavier Isaac couldn’t cleanly handle Furman’s hard groundball toward first and it ricocheted off his glove into right field to make it 3-0.
The RiverDogs (9-15) put their first run on the board in the bottom of the same inning. Isaac worked a two-out walk, advanced to second base on a passed ball and scored on Dominic Keegan’s RBI single to left.
Charleston opened the sixth inning with four straight singles to tie the game. Jhon Diaz and Estanli Castillo’s each drove in single runs. With runners on the corners and still nobody out, Willmer De La Cruz popped up a bunt attempt that resulted in Castillo being doubled off of first. Ryan Spikes struck out and the RiverDogs missed a big opportunity to take the lead.
When that same opportunity presented itself in the seventh, they seized it. The frame began with singles from Isaac and Keegan before Kamren James lined to left for the first out. Peguero stepped to the plate and rolled a base hit between the first and second baseman to score Isaac with the winning run. Duncan Davitt earned his first save of the season by working 2.0 scoreless to end the game.
Peguero and Keegan each finished their night with three hits. Barete added two of his own. Lynchburg closed the night with just five hits, two of which came off the bat of Fascia.
Junior William earned the win with 1.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He allowed just one baserunner and struck out three. Christianson surrendered only an unearned run in 2.1 innings. Four RiverDogs pitchers combined to notch 13 strikeouts.
One of the ceremonial first pitches thrown before the game came from the 2023 SI Swimsuit Rookie of the Year, Ellie Thumann. Starting out as a content creator, Thumann transitioned to modeling and is also a major mental health advocate.
The next installment in the series will take place on Friday night. RHP Trevor Martin (1-1, 3.68) will take the ball first for Charleston. Lynchburg’s rotation lands on RHP Yorman Gomez (0-1, 5.11). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with fireworks to follow, thanks to REV Federal Credit Union.
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