Augusta scores 15 runs in final 2 innings to stun RiverDogs

The Charleston RiverDogs held an 8-0 lead when the eighth inning began at Joseph P. Riley, Jr....
The Charleston RiverDogs held an 8-0 lead when the eighth inning began at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Thursday night.(Charleston RiverDogs)
Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 11:38 PM EDT
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Charleston, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs held an 8-0 lead when the eighth inning began at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Thursday night. In a stunning turn of events, the Augusta GreenJackets scored 15 unanswered runs over the final two frames to earn a 15-8 win over a demoralized RiverDogs squad. The RiverDogs issued a season-high matching 12 walks to jumpstart the comeback bid. A crowd of 4,537 left the ballpark disappointed by the result.

Trailing by eight when the eighth inning began, Augusta (12-14, 43-48) had mustered just three singles to that point in the game. The inning began innocently enough when Alex Cook struck out Jeremy Celedonio. The lead began to deteriorate when the reliever walked Bryson Worrell and Cory Acton blasted a two-run home run to right field. The next two hitters singled and a passed ball brought Augusta within 8-3. Cook walked Tyler Collins to close his night.

Kikito Severino entered and immediately issued a free pass to Ambioris Tavarez to load the bases. E.J. Exposito quickly cleared the bases with a three-run double and suddenly the GreenJackets were back in the ballgame at 8-6.

The score remained the same at the outset of the ninth inning. Worrell smoked a double to begin the stanza, bringing the tying run to the plate with Jackson Lancaster entering on the mound. Acton and Jair Casanova greeted the southpaw with back-to-back singles, closing the gap to one and putting the tying run in scoring position. Lancaster recorded the first out of the inning with a strikeout of Jose Dilone, but walked Nick Clarno in the ensuing at-bat to load the bases. Collins put Augusta in front with a two-run double and the floodgates started to open. Before the inning concluded, Exposito and Acton added a pair of RBI doubles and Francisco Floyd, who pinch ran earlier in the frame, tacked on a run-scoring triple. When the dust settled, the visitors had taken a 15-8 lead.

The early innings were much more kind to the RiverDogs (18-9, 45-48). They jumped in front with five runs in the third against Braves top pitching prospect Owen Murphy. Edwin Barragan drove in the first run with a fielder’s choice groundout to short and Cooper Kinney made it 3-0 with a two-run single to center. Ryan Spikes added an RBI triple and a final run scored in the frame on Dilone’s error at first base while trying to field a bouncer off the bat of Jhon Diaz.

The lead grew even larger with an RBI single from Chandler Simpson in the fourth which was followed by Kinney driving in another with a groundout to the right side. Estanli Castillo’s run-producing single in the seventh pushed the margin to 8-0 before the wheels fell off late.

Simpson and Castillo each notched three hits for the RiverDogs, who finished the night with 10 as a team. Simpson stole two bases, raising his season total to 72, good for third in team history for a single season. Augusta was led by Acton’s three hits and four RBI out of the five-hole. Exposito also collected five runs batted in over the final two innings.

Charleston used six pitchers in the game, closing the night with catcher Julio Meza on the mound. Lancaster took the loss after surrendering eight runs, four earned, on five hits. Starting pitcher Marcus Johnson worked 4.1 scoreless innings at the outset of the night, walking five batters. He entered the game with just six walks on the season.

Ballpark Fun

The RiverDogs hosted a Christmas-themed Thirsty Thursday for this contest, offering a night full of “Rein-beer games”. The night was complete with a snow machine at the front entrance to the stadium, a first pitch from Santa Claus and Christmas music mixed in throughout the game.

The RiverDogs look to rebound on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. in the fourth game of the series. The RiverDogs have not yet announced their starter for the game. Augusta will go with RHP Jared Johnson (2-2, 4.11). The game will be followed by a post-game fireworks show presented by REV Federal Credit Union.

RiverDogs season tickets, flexible ticket plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are available at // or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS).