CHARLESTON, SC - Rafael De Paula was dominant on the mound with a career high 12 strikeouts for the Charleston RiverDogs in an 8-1 win over the Hickory Crawdads Friday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League in front of 5,476 fans.
With the win, the RiverDogs are back over the .500 mark at 16-15 on the season, and remain in fifth place in the Southern Division. Hickory, now 19-14, remains in second place in the Northern Division.
The RiverDogs jumped on Hickory's starting pitcher Connor Sadzeck (2-2) in the bottom of the first inning. Charleston sent 11 men to the plate, and scored six runs on five hits. Peter O'Brien, Yeicok Calderon, and Jake Cave each had RBI singles in the frame. Cave finished the evening 2-3 with a walk, a run scored, and two RBI.
RiverDogs starter Rafael De Paula continued his fantastic pitching and won his third straight start. De Paula improved to 3-2 on the year after tossing six frames and allowed a run on three hits while striking out a career and season high 12 batters. De Paula now has a ridiculous SAL best 58 strikeouts to just 16 walks on the year.
Following De Paula was Dietrich Enns. Enns threw two shutout innings, and allowed only one hit with two strikeouts. Ben Paullus closed it out with a shutout ninth inning for Charleston.
Hickory starter Connor Sadzeck (2-2) took the loss giving up six runs in five innings, five of which were earned. Sadzeck struckout six batters and walked two. John Kukuruda and Ryne Slack gave up the other two runs. Ryan Rua led the charge offensively for the Crawdads going 2-4.
Kelvin DeLeon chipped in for Charleston with a nice 2-4 night in the seventh spot of the order.