RiverDogs Go Scoreless After First Inning, Fall in Extras

Riverdogs hoping to take home the win in the Championship!
Riverdogs hoping to take home the win in the Championship!(Charleston RiverDogs)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 8:18 AM EDT
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Columbia, SC- The Charleston RiverDogs failed to score after the first inning, eventually suffering a 3-2 walk-off loss to the Columbia Fireflies in 10 innings on Thursday night at Segra Park. Omar Hernandez drove in the winning run with an opposite field single off of Drew Sommers with two outs in the bottom of the first extra frame. The Fireflies have won each of the first three games in the six-game set.

The game began in fantastic fashion for the RiverDogs (17-25) against left-hander Frank Mozzicato, one of the top pitchers in the Carolina League. Xavier Isaac sliced a double to the gap in left center with one out for the first hit of the night. Dominic Keegan followed immediately by launching a two-run home run well over the right field wall to hand the visitors a 2-0 lead. Mozzicato would not allow the RiverDogs to score again, whiffing nine in 6.0 innings.

Marcus Johnson was equally as good on the hill, turning in the longest start of the season for a member of the RiverDogs rotation. The right-hander out of Duke faced the minimum one time through the Columbia (26-16) lineup, but was scored upon in the fourth.

Hernandez opened that inning with a base hit and scored on Daniel Vazquez’s two-out RBI triple. Johnson stranded the tying run on third base that inning, but Erick Pena evened the score with his sixth home run of the season to open the fifth. Johnson struck out four in 6.0 innings, taking a no-decision.

The game was still even at 2-2 after nine innings had been completed. The RiverDogs opened the extra frame with Christopher Barete on second base. Jhon Diaz struck out for the first out of the frame, but Eduardo Herrera walked pinch-hitter Chandler Simpson to put two on base. Cooper Kinney also struck out for the second out, bringing Isaac to the plate. Barete was thrown out at third trying to advance on a ball in the dirt to end the inning.

Drew Sommers reported back to the mound in the bottom half of the inning after striking out a pair in a 1-2-3 ninth. He struck out two of the first three hitters in the tenth, with a walk to Junior Calderon in the middle. That set the stage for Hernandez’s game-winning knock on the first pitch he saw from the southpaw.

Hernandez led Columbia with three hits. Keegan paced the RiverDogs by going 3-4 with a double, home runs and two RBI.

Sommers took the tough-luck loss, allowing an unearned run in 1.2 innings with four strikeouts. The southpaw now has 23 strikeouts in 11.1 innings on the mound with the RiverDogs. Jack Hartman and Juan Rodriguez each tossed a scoreless frame out of the pen earlier in the contest.

The RiverDogs will look to snap their three-game skid on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jonny Cuevas (1-3, 7.31) will receive the baseball to open the game for the RiverDogs. Columbia goes with RHP Shane Panzini (1-3, 3.06).