Insurance Proves Crucial as Shorebirds Even Series with RiverDogs

The RiverDogs dropped to 1-5 on Fridays with a loss to Delmarva
The RiverDogs dropped to 1-5 on Fridays with a loss to Delmarva(Charleston RiverDogs)
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 12:39 AM EDT
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Charleston, SC- The Delmarva Shorebirds scored just enough in the final two innings to keep the Charleston RiverDogs at bay in an 8-5 victory on Friday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Entering the final two innings with a one run advantage, the Shorebirds scored one run in the eighth and four in the ninth, while the RiverDogs put up one in the eighth and two in the ninth. Charleston dropped to 1-5 on Fridays in front of 4,975 fans.

Pitching was dominant early in the contest. The only scoring in the first five innings came from Delmarva (19-16) in the first against Marcus Johnson. The game began with Johnson walking Elio Prado and Samuel Basallo doubling to left. Carter Young opened the scoring with an RBI single and Anderson De Los Santos doubled the lead with a booming double to center. Shortstop Carlos Colmenarez threw wildly to first on Angel Tejada’s groundball to short later in the frame, allowing one more run to score. Johnson allowed nothing else, closing his day with three runs allowed, two of them earned, on six hits and a walk. He struck out five.

The RiverDogs (15-22) could not muster any runs against Delmarva’s first two pitchers, Edgar Portes and Yaqui Rivera, over 5.0 innings. Juan Nunez entered in the sixth and allowed singles to Ryan Spikes and Odalys Peguero. Christopher Barete brought both home with a double to left center and the Dogs closed within 3-2.

The Shorebirds entered the eighth with the same lead, but quickly changed that against reliever Samuel Mejia. Young began the frame with a triple off the base of the wall in center and scored on De Los Santos’s double to push the lead back to two. In the bottom of the inning, the RiverDogs pulled within a single run again. Jhon Diaz drove a triple to the warning track in center field and scored when the relay throw to third base sailed into the dugout. Nunez struck out pinch-hitter Dominic Keegan with the tying run at second base to end the inning.

The Dogs were set to have speedster Chandler Simpson leading off the ninth, representing the tying run, if they could just keep Delmarva from adding to the lead in the top half of the frame. That task became taller as Luis Gonzalez and Prado hit back-to-back one-out doubled off Duncan Davitt to put two in scoring position. Davitt came back to strike out Basallo for the second out and gave himself a chance to wriggle out of trouble. Young had other ideas, dropping a two-run single into shallow right to make it 6-3. De Los Santos followed with a towering two-run home run as the lead swelled to five.

In the bottom of the ninth, Cooper Kinney blasted his fourth home run of the season to pull the home team a bit closer, but it was too little, too late.

De Los Santos paced all hitters by going 4-5 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI. Young added three hits and three RBI. Prado and Gonzalez also chipped in two hits each to the Shorebirds total of 13. The RiverDogs received two hits from Diaz and Odalys Peguero. The team struck out 15 times.

Drew Sommers was the lone RiverDogs pitcher to avoid damage, working 20 scoreless frames.

Ballpark Fun

The RiverDogs hosted Opera Night at The Joe for the third consecutive season, alongside the Holy City Arts and Lyric Opera. Artistic Director and one of the founders of the opera, Dimitri Pittas tossed a ceremonial first pitch before the game. Also, several of the contests between innings featured an operatic theme. Fans were challenged to match notes with an opera singer and guess whether a word on the video board was a food, street name or opera aria.

Alternating wins to this point, the two teams meet again on Saturday evening at 6:05 p.m. RHP Jonny Cuevas (0-3, 8.49) will open on the mound for the RiverDogs. Delmarva dials up RHP Moises Chace (3-1, 4.91). Following the game, fans are invited to stick around to help “TP” the ballpark on Toilet Paper Night 3: The Final Wipe.