Colmenarez gets RiverDogs back to .500 with big swing
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Shortstop Carlos Colmenarez blasted a decisive two-run home run in the fifth inning to power the Charleston RiverDogs to a 5-3 victory over the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers on Friday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
The victory allowed the team to even their record at 50-50 through 100 games. The RiverDogs fell to 13 games under the .500 mark several times during the first half. A crowd of 3,482 took in the game.
The game was decided by three big innings that featured multiple runs. The first of those belonged to the RiverDogs (23-11, 50-50) in the second. The first two batters of that frame were retired by Kannapolis starter Peyton Pallette. Estanli Castillo reached via a walk with two outs, allowing the inning to continue for Jhon Diaz. The designated hitter put the RiverDogs in front with one swing, driving his sixth home run of the season over the right field wall.
The Cannon Ballers (16-18, 51-48) struggled early against back-to-back Carolina League Pitcher of the Month Yoniel Curet, before striking in his final frame. Curet walked back-to-back batters with two outs, causing him to reach the 90-pitch mark and ending his night. Cade Halemanu entered and surrendered consecutive singles that pulled Kannapolis within 2-1 with the bases still loaded. With two outs, Calvin Harris collected his first hit with the Cannon Ballers by lining a go-ahead, two-run single to center.
In the bottom of the same inning, the RiverDogs wasted no time responding. Bryce Willits threw wildly to first on Ryan Cermak’s groundball to third with two outs, extending a frame that was nearly finished. Ryan Spikes made the mistake hurt with a game-tying single up the middle. In the next at-bat, Colmenarez connected on his 370-foot home run to give the RiverDogs a 5-3 lead that never changed.
Halemanu earned the win by working 2.2 innings with one run allowed. He scattered three hits. Curet allowed just one hit in 4.1 innings, but issued three walks and was charged with two runs. Matt Wyatt tallied his fourth save of the season by striking out four in 2.0 scoreless innings.
The RiverDogs outhit the Cannon Ballers 7-4 in the contest. No players collected more than one hit.
As they have since returning to play in 2021, the RiverDogs and Boeing partner to honor a military member with tickets in the Segra Club for each home game throughout the season. In the middle of the fifth inning, Michael Myers was recognized for his service by the crowd and the players on the field. Myers spent 27 years in the United States Navy, a bulk of those with the Maritime Expeditionary Security Force.
With a series win already under the belt, the RiverDogs will attempt to stretch their winning streak to five games on Saturday night. RHP Jonny Cuevas (4-7, 6.15) will take the mound for the RiverDogs against top White Sox pitching prospect LHP Noah Schultz (1-1, 1.83) of Kannaplis. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. on Beat the Heat Night with a post-game snowball fight.
RiverDogs season tickets, flexible ticket plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are available at //riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS).
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