RiverDogs Hang on to Win Pitcher’s Duel Friday Night
Columbia, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs tempted fate several times on Friday night at Segra Park but managed to leave the tying run at third base in a thrilling 2-1 win over the Columbia Fireflies. Columbia put the tying run on third base and the winning run at second with just one out in the final frame before Gerlin Rosario escaped the jam to remain unscored upon this season. The RiverDogs now hold a 5.0 game lead over Columbia and Kannapolis in the race to clinch a playoff spot.
The contest began with both starting pitchers mowing through opposing hitters at an incredibly efficient rate. After three innings, Columbia (20-20, 55-50) had mustered the only three hits of the night but grounded into a pair of double plays. Emmanuel Reyes retired the first 11 RiverDogs hitters he faced in the game, before Xavier Isaac doubled to left with two outs in the fourth. Colton Ledbetter followed by punching an RBI single into left to give the RiverDogs (25-15, 52-54) a 1-0 lead.
Jonny Cuevas was rolling along until he began the fifth inning with a four-pitch walk to Daniel Vazquez. Lizandro Rodriguez made it hurt even more by yanking a double into the right field corner, placing two in scoring position with no outs. A sacrifice fly from Jared Dickey evened the score in the next at-bat. The RiverDogs were able to throw Rodriguez out at the plate later in the frame, allowing Cuevas to escape further damage.
Jhon Diaz helped put Charleston right back on top when he opened the sixth inning a triple to right field. His race to third base allowed him to score the winning run on Cristopher Barete’s sacrifice fly to right in the next at-bat.
Cuevas worked 5.0 efficient innings, scattering six hits, and allowing just one run. He walked a pair and struck out one. Jake Christianson followed out of the bullpen, striking out three in three scoreless innings. In his first save situation, Rosario slammed the door on the Columbia comeback extending his streak to 11.0 consecutive scoreless innings.
The RiverDogs won the game despite collecting only five hits. Two of them belonged to Isaac, while Cooper Kinney extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the sixth. Columbia posted nine hits, two each from Carson Roccaforte, Austin Charles and Jared Dickey.
With the series even at two, the match-up continues Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. RHP Trevor Martin (7-5, 3.57) will earn the nod on the mound for the RiverDogs. Columbia counters with LHP Oscar Rayo (3-1, 2.20).
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