GREENVILLE, S.C. (DOGS) -Michael O'Neill hit his second home run of the season and did much more in an11-3 victory for the Charleston RiverDogs against the Greenville Drive onMonday evening at Fluor Field at the West End in South Atlantic League action.All nine batters in the starting lineup for Charleston had at least one basehit in the contest.
The RiverDogs are 4-7this season after winning the series opener in Greenville, snapping a five-gamelosing streak in the process. The Drive fall back to 7-4 as its five-gamewinning streak was ended.
Charleston's RookieDavis and Greenville's Cody Kukuk kept the game scoreless and hitless throughthe first two innings. Kukuk struck out four in those opening frames whileDavis retired all six batters that he faced. O'Neill had a diving catch insupport of Davis in the second inning.
The RiverDogs opened thescoring in the top of the third before the Drive tied the game an inning later.Abiatal Avelino lined a two-out single into center field and scored from firston a double by Brandon Thomas for a 1-0 Charleston lead. The Drive answered inthe fourth with a one-out triple from Jake Romanski, who scored the tying runon a Jantzen Witte sacrifice fly.
A two-run outburst inthe top of the sixth put the RiverDogs back in front by a 3-1 margin. AaronJudge walked with one out and reached third base after a throwing error on apickoff attempt. Following a Mike Ford walk, Judge scored on a single by MiguelAndujar. Ford would come in following a groundout and a wild pitch to giveCharleston a two-run advantage.
Greenville cut the leadin half in the bottom of the sixth. Zach Kapstein led off the inning and workedhis way to third base on a pair of groundouts. A wild pitch brought Kapsteinin, slicing the RiverDogs lead to 3-2. Andy Beresford replaced Rookie Daviswith two on and two out, ending the frame with a groundout that held Charlestonin front.
The RiverDogs respondedimmediately, expanding their lead in the seventh inning. Charleston loaded thebases for Judge, who scored Luis Torrens and Gosuke Katoh with a single for a5-2 edge. Judge scored from second on a Mike Ford single to put the RiverDogsup 6-2.
In the bottom of theseventh, the Drive could only muster one run to try and stay with theRiverDogs. Charleston reliever Nick Rumbelow entered a one-out, bases-loadedjam and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Bo Greenwell to trim the RiverDogs leadto three. An inning-ending strikeout by Rumbelow prevented Greenville fromcommitting any further damage.
Charleston added to theadvantage with two solo home runs in the eighth and three more runs in theninth to finish the scoring. O'Neill and Torrens hit homers to build an 8-3advantage entering the final frame. In the ninth, Andujar tripled to scoreJudge and Ford before coming in himself after an O'Neill single.
Davis improved to 2-0after the victory, pitching a career-high 5.2 innings for the RiverDogs.Greenville reliever Jacob Dahlstrand took the loss and fell to 1-1 this season.
COMING UP: Game two of this three-game series featuresRiverDogs RHP Luis Severino (0-1, 5.79 ERA) squaring off with Drive RHP JamieCallahan (0-1, 5.19 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm. After the roadseries, Charleston will return to the Lowcountry and host a three-game setagainst the Rome Braves that starts on Thursday, April 17 at 7:05pm at The Joe.Thursday's homestand opener will be another Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presentedby 95SX, complete with DJ Natty Heavy, $1 drafts, and a Wild Wing Cafwing-eating contest in the Ashley View Pub. The Dunder Chiefs will perform apostgame concert adjacent to the Beer Garden thanks to Palmetto Brewery andAwendaw Green. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office,(843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com.If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to allthe action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com andlocally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1eroE6V