CHARLESTON, SC - First baseman Dermis Garcia ripped an RBI double and drove in a pair with a single as the Charleston RiverDogs topped the Hagerstown Suns in a 6-3 series opener that 4,089 Riley Park goers took in on Friday evening.
The 20-year-old broke out of a 1-for-20 slump with a first inning double to left off Hagerstown starter Malvin Pena (3-1) that scored designated hitter David Metzgar for the RiverDogs' (54-60, 21-25) first run. The D.R. native later stung a fifth inning single to center that brought home Metzgar and left fielder Carlos Vidal.
Metzgar reached on errors in his first two plate appearances, scoring his first time aboard before plating Frederick Cuevas when left fielder Nick Choruby dropped Metzgar's fly ball in the second.
Cuevas tripled home center fielder Leonardo Molina in the second and scored his second run on a Vidal single as part of Charleston's three-run fifth.
21-year-old Alex Mauricio (1-1) took the ball for the Dogs, going 5 2/3 innings and surrendering two runs (one earned) on six Hagerstown (43-69, 16-28) hits. The Norfolk State product retired 10 of 11 Suns at one point, collecting all five of his strikeouts between the fourth and fifth innings. After surrendering 19 runs in his first three starts, Mauricio has given up one earned tally in his last two outings over 11 2/3 frames.
Mauricio's strong night furthered a dominant stretch for RiverDogs starting pitching, which has a 2.13 ERA over 46 1/3 innings in the last eight games.
Right-hander Daniel Ramos relieved Mauricio in the six with two outs and a pair of Suns in scoring position. The 23-year-old struck out Paul Panaccione to keep Charleston's four-run lead intact. Ramos surrendered an eighth inning run before Carlos Espinal pitched a one-run ninth, earning his second save of the season.
Fans heard through the grapevine that there were Home Telecom fireworks, and they weren't too proud to beg for the postgame show set to the songs of Motown. Also, the RiverDogs wore their red jerseys to honor of the military, and fans who wore red saved a buck at the gate.