Augusta Stuns RiverDogs On Ninth Inning Balk

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:57 PM EDT
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Charleston, SC- Charleston RiverDogs reliever Junior William committed a balk with a runner on third base in the ninth inning of a tie game at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Thursday night, allowing the Augusta GreenJackets to stun the home side 4-3. The contest featured five balks, three of them directly bringing a runner home from third. The RiverDogs have dropped four straight games and eight of the last nine.

The first inning featured abundant offense from both sides. Augusta (26-22) jumped in front 1-0 on a solo home run by Bryson Worrell, his second of the year. Unfazed, the RiverDogs (18-30) came right back to score three in the bottom half against Jhancarlos Lara. Chandler Simpson started the inning with a walk but was caught stealing second base for the first out. Lara also walked Xavier Isaac, before a balk moved the runner to second. Dominic Keegan poked an RBI single through the right side to tie the game and Cooper Kinney followed with a double, putting men on second and third. Back-to-back balks from Lara allowed both runs to score and the RiverDogs to move into the lead.

Marcus Johnson, the RiverDogs starting pitcher, allowed one more run on a solo home run from Ethan Workinger in the sixth. He allowed two runs in 7.0 innings, striking out five. The last RiverDogs pitcher to work at least 7.0 innings in a game was Jhony Brito in 2019. The right-hander departed in line for a victory with his squad leading 3-2.

Juan Rodriguez struck out a pair in a scoreless eighth inning to push the RiverDogs closer to a much-needed victory. William followed him in search of his second save in the final frame. The inning began with a walk to Justin Janas. Worrell quickly tied the game with a booming triple off the base of the center field wall. Moments later, William committed the decisive balk on the first pitch to Nick Clarno.

Augusta outhit the RiverDogs 6-5 in the game. Workinger and Worrell each collected two hits, including a home run. The GreenJackets bullpen worked 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and recording eight strikeouts.

Ballpark Fun

The RiverDogs welcomed two high-profile guests to The Joe for ceremonial first pitches on Thursday night. On College of Charleston night at the ballpark, the school’s President, Andrew Hsu, was the first to take the mound. He was followed by Glenny Balls, a host of the Barstool Sports podcast Sundae Conversation.

RHP Jonny Cuevas (1-4, 7.34) will take the ball for the RiverDogs on Friday night in an attempt to snap the four-game skid. Opposing him will be RHP Owen Murphy (1-2, 3.08) of Augusta. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Fireworks presented by REV Federal Credit Union will follow the final out.