Ninth Inning Rally Doused, RiverDogs Drop 2-1 Decision
Charleston, SC- The Charleston RiverDogs entered the ninth inning without a baserunner in their previous 14 at-bats against Augusta GreenJackets pitching on Wednesday night. The offense came alive and had the tying and winning runs on base with no outs as a crowd of 3,898 started to make their presence felt. However, Cooper Kinney’s hard line drive toward right field was snatched out of the air by first baseman Justin Janas to start a double play, allowing the GreenJackets to escape with a 2-1 victory at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. The RiverDogs have dropped seven of their last eight games, five of them by one run.
All of the offense for Augusta (25-22) came in the very first inning. Ethan Workinger blasted his sixth home run of the season in the first at-bat of the game against RiverDogs starter Trevor Martin. With two outs, Martin walked Bryson Worrell who quickly stole second base. E.J. Exposito appeared to fly out to center field to end the inning, but a balk was called, and Worrell moved to third. Exposito eventually won a lengthy battle with Martin, making it 2-0 with an infield hit toward third.
That same score held throughout most of the contest. Martin turned in a quality start with two runs allowed in 6.0 innings and six strikeouts. Jack Hartman and Alex Cook combined to toss 3.0 scoreless innings out of the RiverDogs bullpen.
For the GreenJackets, Spencer Schwellenbach kept the RiverDogs (18-29) off balance in 6.0 shutout frames. The right-hander has not allowed a run to Charleston in 9.0 total innings this season. Jared Johnson followed with 2.0 perfect innings as the RiverDogs did not have a man reach base for four consecutive frames.
In the ninth, Chandler Simpson sparked the crowd with a triple off the wall to begin the inning. Carlos Colmenarez worked a walk and a wild pitch allowed Simpson to score with the tying run advancing to second. Dominic Keegan also worked a free pass against Johnson to put two on with no outs. Kinney’s line drive double play left a man at second with two outs and Oneill Manzueta’s fly ball to shallow right ended the game.
The only player for either side with multiple hits was Exposito, who finished 2-3 with an RBI. The GreenJackets outhit the RiverDogs 5-4.
The RiverDogs turned back the clock on Wednesday night, treating the game as if it were being played in a previous era. There were no promotions between innings and the only music played over the speakers sounded as if it came from an organ. The focus throughout the night was appreciating the game of baseball.
The series continues Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Marcus Johnson (0-2, 4.15) will get the ball on the mound for the RiverDogs. Augusta will counter with RHP Jhancarlos Lara (2-2, 3.86). As always on a Budweiser™ Thirsty Thursday, $1 beers will be available throughout the ballpark.
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