Double Play Ends RiverDogs Comeback Hopes in Extra-Inning Defeat
Charleston, SC - Ryan Cermak bounced into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning to hand the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers a thrilling 4-3 win over the Charleston RiverDogs on Saturday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. The game had entered the ninth inning with no score before each team scored three in the ninth inning. The Kannapolis victory was their first of the series.
Both teams were presented with numerous opportunities to score in the first eight innings. The Cannon Ballers (17-18, 52-48) left six men on base to that point, with the RiverDogs (23-12, 50-51) stranding five. Drew Sommers entered for the ninth inning and allowed an opposite-field single to Calvin Harris to open the frame. Bryce Willits followed with a double and two were in scoring position with no outs. Sommers retired Eddie Park on a groundball to third without a run scoring for the first out. However, Chris Lanzilli blasted a breaking ball over the left field in the next at-bat to give Kannapolis a 3-0 lead.
Xavier Isaac opened the bottom of the inning with a single down the right field line and was quickly joined on base by Cermak, who was hit by a pitch. Ryan Spikes waited on a Billy Siedl breaking ball and hooked a two-RBI double to the left field corner that placed put the tying run at second. He advanced to third on Carlos Colmenarez’s deep fly ball to center and raced home just in front of a throw to the plate on Cristopher Barete’s chopper to second. Barete made it to second base as the winning run, but pinch-hitter Raudelis Martinez grounded to second to end the threat.
In the extra frame, Sommers fired a wild pitch that allowed Mario Camilletti, the placed runner, to advance to third base with no outs. Jacob Gonzalez grounded to out to short before Sommers walked Brooks Baldwin. Jack Hartman replaced him on the mound and struck out Wilber Sanchez for the second out of the inning. Willits came through with another big hit, handing Kannapolis a 4-3 lead with an RBI single to left.
Martinez opened the bottom of the inning at second base but was erased when Jhon Diaz’s groundball toward short deflected off of his midsection for the first out. Cooper Kinney followed with a single to center to put two on base. A wild pitch from Seidl put the tying run at third and the winning run at second, causing the Cannon Ballers to intentionally walk Isaac. That set the stage for the double play to end the game.
Camilletti, Willits and Lanzilli each had three hits for Kannapolisas they finished the night with nine. The only player with multiple hits for the RiverDogs was Diaz, ending his day 2-5. Barete extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games with a bunt single in the fifth inning.
Sommers took the loss, allowing all four runs, three of them earned, in 1.1 innings. Starter Jonny Cuevas was impressive once again, working 5.0 scoreless innings with just a pair of hits allowed. Jake Christianson followed with 3.0 scoreless innings of his own. Hartman allowed one hit in 0.2 innings.
The RiverDogs tried to help their fans beat the heat on Saturday evening by hosting a game filled with wintery fun. Following the contest, fans participated in a snowball fight in the seats behind the third base dugout.
The final game of the series and the homestand is set for Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. RHP Trevor Martin (7-4, 3.49) will make his second start of the series against Kannapolis RHP Mason Adams (3-3, 3.52). On MUSC Health Family Sunday parking is free and kids are welcome to run the bases on the field after the game.
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