CHARLESTON, SC - Kelvin DeLeon (2-4, 3 RBI) led the Charleston RiverDogs to a win over the Rome Braves in South Atlantic League play Friday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 4,055 fans. With the win, the RiverDogs advance to 7-4 this season and remain in first place of the Southern Division. Rome, now 6-5 with the loss, drops to third in the division. Charleston tied their season high in both hits and runs with 12 of each.
The RiverDogs jumped on Braves starting pitcher Rafael Briceno (0-2) in the bottom of the first inning. Cito Culver scored the first run of the evening on a Rob Refsnyder single to left. They stretched the early lead to 2-0 on a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Greg Bird.
Charleston added four runs to their lead in the bottom of the third inning. The first run of the inning was scored on a wild pitch that allowed Culver to cross the plate once again. Another run was added on a double by Peter O'Brien scoring Greg Bird. Kelvin DeLeon then ripped a two RBI double to left-center field that scored O'Brien and Yeicok Calderon.
Briceno was relieved in the third inning by Zach Jadofsky. In 2.1 innings pitched, Briceno allowed six runs on five hits with one strikeout, issued four walks, threw four wild pitches, and balked twice.
The RiverDogs extended their lead to 8-0 in the bottom half of the fourth inning with two consecutive two out hits. Culver scored the RiverDogs' seventh run on a double by Calderon. Calderon then scored on an error by Rome shortstop Ronald Luna.
The offensive explosion was continued by Charleston in the bottom of the fifth inning when Taylor Dugas hit his first homerun of the season. The solo shot made the score 9-0.
In the top of the sixth inning Rome was able to score its first runs off Charleston starting pitcher Cesar Vargas (1-0). With the bases loaded Vargas hit Tyler Tewell scoring Josh Elander. Vargas was then relieved by Dietrich Enns who forced in another run after walking Eric Garcia. Vargas pitched 5.1 innings. He allowed two runs on three hits while walking three batters and recording four strikeouts en route to his first victory of the season.
O'Brien's second hit of the night was a ground rule double that scored Refsnyder for Charleston's tenth run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. DeLeon added another RBI with an opposite field single scoring Calderon. O'Brien then scored the twelfth Charleston run on a double to left-center field by Claudio Custodio making the score 12-2.
BALLPARK FUN: The stands were filled with youth baseball players in their uniforms from all over the Lowcountry on Youth Baseball Night. On the field, the RiverDogs tied their season high in both hits and runs with 12 of each.
COMING UP: Game two of this three-game series against the Rome Braves is Tuesday night at 7:05pm. RHP Rafael DePaula (0-1, 5.68 ERA) will be on the mound for Charleston and will face RHP Mauricio Cabrera (0-1, 4.70 ERA). It will be Two-for-$20 Date Night presented by 96.9 The Wolf. The deal includes two tickets, two slices of pizza, two sodas, and one popcorn all for only $20.