Offensive Explosion Allows RiverDogs to Outslug Augusta 13-10

Cooper Kinney hit a grand slam as the RiverDogs beat Augusta, 13-10 on Sunday
Cooper Kinney hit a grand slam as the RiverDogs beat Augusta, 13-10 on Sunday(Charleston RiverDogs)
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 8:53 PM EDT
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Charleston, SC- The Charleston RiverDogs collected season-highs for runs scored in a game, runs scored in an inning and stolen bases on the way to a 13-10 win over the Augusta GreenJackets on Sunday evening at Joseph. P. Riley, Jr. Park. The RiverDogs scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to blow open a tie game and earn a split of the six-game series. A crowd of 6,417, the largest of the season, took in the victory.

The offensive antics began in the very first inning. Chandler Simpson struck out but reached on a wild pitch to open the frame. Xavier Isaac followed by working a walk against Adam Shoemaker and Dominic Keegan singled to load the bases. Cooper Kinney fell behind in the count 0-2, before driving a hanging breaking ball over the right field wall for the team’s first grand slam of the season. The RiverDogs (21-30) sent nine batters to the plate in the opening frame.

Augusta (26-25) chipped away over the next several innings. Francisco Floyd drove in Cory Acton with a two-out single in the second to get the GreenJackets on the board. Justin Janas pulled the road team within one with a two-RBI double in the fourth. That was the final inning worked by Alex Ayala Jr. who allowed three runs on four hits in 3.0 innings.

The sides went back and forth over the next several innings. The RiverDogs reestablished a three-run advantage in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on the corners, Chandler Simpson stole second base and induced a throwing error by catcher Dawson Dimon. Barete scored on the throw, as did Simpson when the ball was lobbed back to the infield. Augusta scored two of their own in the top of the fifth inning to again close within one run. A sacrifice fly by Ryan Spikes in the bottom of the inning made the margin 7-5.

With Jack Hartman on the mound in the seventh, E.J. Exposito tallied one of his three hits with a single to left. Jeremy Celedonio followed with a game-tying home run, his seventh of the season.

The RiverDogs put together their biggest inning of the season in the eighth to take control of the game. Spikes opened the inning with a go-ahead solo home run, his fourth of the year, to put the home team back on top 8-7. The team would go on to send 11 hitters to the plate and score six runs. Julio Meza hit an RBI double, Xavier Isaac collected a two-RBI double, Kinney added an RBI single and Spikes drove in one more run with a double of his own. When the dust settled, the lead was 13-7.

Augusta received a three-run home run from Cory Acton in the bottom of the ninth.

On the mound, Junior William earned the win by striking out the side in the eighth inning, his lone stanza on the mound. Kikito Severino was first out of the pen, allowing two runs, one earned. Matt Wyatt allowed just one baserunner in 2.0 clean innings. Hartman surrendered the game-tying home run in the seventh, but nothing else. Alex Cook worked the final frame and was charged with three runs on three hits.

The RiverDogs were led at the plate by Kinney, who finished 4-5 with five RBI. His RBI total was the largest for a RiverDogs player this season. Spikes also enjoyed a productive day with three hits and three runs batted in. Augusta used three hits from Exposito and two from Acton to guide their 10-hit effort.

Ballpark Fun

The RiverDogs welcomed the finalists for the Charleston County School District Teacher of the Year 2023 award to the field prior to the game. Spencer Quinlan, who received the honor, threw out a pair of ceremonial first pitches. When she didn’t like the results of her first toss, she grabbed the ball and tried again.

The RiverDogs will take Monday off before heading on the road to the state of Virginia for two weeks. The road trip begins with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch in Fredericksburg on Tuesday night. RHP Trevor Martin (1-2, 3.96) will take the baseball for the RiverDogs.