RiverDogs Hang on for 6-5 Win over GreenJackets

Riverdogs hoping to take home the win in the Championship!
Riverdogs hoping to take home the win in the Championship!(Charleston RiverDogs)
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 12:28 AM EDT
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North Augusta, SC- The Charleston RiverDogs watched most of their five-run lead disappear late in the game on Thursday night at SRP Park. However, Junior William slammed the door shut in the last two innings, earning his first save of the season, as the RiverDogs bested the Augusta GreenJackets by a 6-5 score.

For the third consecutive contest, the GreenJackets (14-15) were first on the board. Ethan Workinger opened the second inning with a single and raced to second on a wild pitch by Kikito Severino. He advanced to third on a groundout from Justin Janas and scored on Nick Clarno’s RBI single through the left side.

The RiverDogs (11-19) didn’t need long to answer. Odalys Peguero walked to start the top of the third and quickly stole second base. He moved to third with Jhon Diaz’s groundball to first base. With two outs, Chandler Simpson evened the score with a single to right field.

It took two pitches at the outset of the fourth inning for the RiverDogs to vault into the lead. Carlos Colmenarez lined a single to center field on the first pitch Jorge Bautista fired in the frame. The second pitch of the inning was turned on by Cooper Kinney for a two-run home run over the right field wall. The long ball was his third of the season.

Charleston increased the lead over the next two frames as well. A trio of Augusta errors allowed the RiverDogs to score two runs in the fifth. Three straight singles in the sixth inning, capped by Diaz’s RBI infield hit, widened the gap to 6-1.

The work of southpaw Drew Sommers out of the pen kept the visitors on top into the late innings. Sommers struck out six over 2.0 scoreless innings. Jeff Hakanson came on for the seventh and worked himself into a jam. He bookended a double by E.J. Exposito with a pair of walks, loading the bases. Jair Casanova, who homered and drove in four runs on Wednesday, hammered a breaking ball over the left field wall for a grand slam and, suddenly, the lead was trimmed to 6-5.

William entered for the eighth and promptly struck out the side. In the ninth, he issued a walk to Andrew Keck with two outs, but induced Casanova into a groundball to first that ended the game.

Seven of the nine players in the Charleston lineup collected at least one hit. The only player with two hits was Colmenarez, who is 5-10 at the plate in three games since being activated from the injured list. Chandler Simpson stole his 21st base of the season in the third inning. Augusta received two hits from Casanova, Exposito and Tavarez. The GreenJackets outhit the RiverDogs 9-8 in defeat.

Severino was solid in his second start of the season. The southpaw allowed just one run on five hits in 4.0 innings, his longest outing of the year. Hakanson was charged with four runs in 1.0 inning of work.

The RiverDogs will once again try to win consecutive games for the first time this season on Friday night. RHP Trevor Martin (1-1, 2.75) will start on the mound for the RiverDogs. RHP Owen Murphy (0-1, 2.35) counters on the hill for the GreenJackets. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.