RiverDogs Take Playoff Opener 2-1

The RiverDogs beat Myrtle Beach, 2-1 on Tuesday to take Game 1 of their playoff series
The RiverDogs beat Myrtle Beach, 2-1 on Tuesday to take Game 1 of their playoff series(Charleston RiverDogs)
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 11:20 PM EDT
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Charleston, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs scored a run in each of the first two innings and made them hold up the rest of the way in a thrilling 2-1 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in game one of the South Division Championship Series on Tuesday night. A crowd of 4,613 was on the edge of their seat for nearly every pitch at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. The RiverDogs took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

Trevor Martin retired the side in order in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, RiverDogs leadoff hitter Brayden Taylor lined a triple to the right field wall. Cooper Kinney drove him in with an RBI single several pitches later to give the home team a quick 1-0 lead.

The RiverDogs continued their strong start to the game in their next at-bat. Ryan Spikes and Odalys Peguero opened the frame with consecutive singles. However, Jhon Diaz’s pop-up over second base turned into a double play when it was caught by Jefferson Rojas while standing on the bag. Cristopher Barete made sure that the RiverDogs would not come up empty, driving a double to the right field corner that scored Peguero all the way from first to extend the advantage.

Martin was perfect through 3.0 innings at the outset of the game but ran into some trouble in the fourth. He began the frame with two walks and then allowed a single to Pedro Ramirez that loaded the bases for the middle of the order. The right-hander dug deep to strikeout both Brian Kalmer and Jonathan Long before inducing Rafael Morel into a groundout to third to end the inning.

The RiverDogs weren’t as fortunate in the fifth. Ismael Mena began that inning with a bunt single and stole second base before Cristian Herandez joined him with a walk. Miguel Pabon used a sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third with one out. Brett Bateman ended Martin’s night with an RBI single to left field that cut the lead in half. Cade Halemanu entered from the bullpen and quickly picked Bateman off first. He walked the next two batters to load the bases once more but ended the inning with another groundball to third base.

From that point forward, chances were few and far between. The RiverDogs received a two-out single from Diaz in the bottom of the eighth, but Ryan Spikes was thrown out on a close play at the plate to end that inning. In the ninth, Pelicans pinch-hitter Andy Garriola grounded into a game-ending double play with the tying run on first base.

Gerlin Rosario earned the win with 3.0 scoreless innings down the stretch. Martin allowed the lone run in 4.1 innings of work. He struck out seven and scattered three hits. Cade Halemanu worked 1.2 innings scoreless to bridge the gap between Martin and Rosario.

The RiverDogs collected eight hits in the victory, two each from Taylor and Spikes. Myrtle Beach closed the night with five hits. Ramirez was the lone player with multiple hits for the Pelicans, finishing 2-3 at the plate.

Ballpark Fun

The playoff crowd was among the loudest of the season inside The Joe. The first 1,000 fans in attendance received a playoff t-shirt to match those worn by the team on the night they clinched a playoff berth. Once inside, $1 beers were available throughout the ballpark thanks to Budweiser.

The series shifts to Myrtle Beach for Game 2 on Thursday night. RHP Marcus Johnson will take the ball for the RiverDogs as they attempt to secure a spot in the championship series. LHP Drew Gray will work for the Pelicans in an attempt to force a decisive Game 3 on Friday. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.