ROME, GA - RiverDogs first baseman Greg Bird accounted for three of Charleston's five runs en route to a 5-1 victory Friday night at State Mutual Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
With the victory, the RiverDogs improve to 2-0 in the second half and are currently in first place in the Southern Division as the lone undefeated team in the second half. Overall the RiverDogs record improves to 41-29 with their victory. With the loss, Rome drops to 0-2 in the second half and 36-35 overall as they remain in last place in the SAL Southern Division.
Charleston starter Vicente Campos had his best outing of the season statistically speaking. Even though Campos didn't factor into the decision, he tossed four innings of shutout ball and only allowed three hits while striking out five. Brett Gerritse (6-4) earned the win as he came in to relieve Campos to start the fifth inning. Gerritse's final line was 2.1 innings pitched, one run, one hit and a season-high four walks. Gerritse was relieved by newly acquired lefty James Pazos. Pazos impressed in his debut getting out of a tough jam in the seventh as he limited the Braves to just one inherited run. Pazos went 1.2 innings scoreless inninga that saw him strikeout two and not allow a single baserunner. Adam Smith pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the game.
Charleston once again got on the board early with a run in the first inning led by yet another Jake Cave leadoff walk. Following Cave's walk, Cito Culver doubled and they both scored on a Greg Bird double. Bird finished the evening 3-for-4 with two singles, a double, a walk, a run scored and 3 RBI's.
The RiverDogs would hold onto their 2-0 lead until the sixth inning when they struck for another run. With one out, Danny Oh stepped to the plate and doubled putting himself in to scoring position. Kelvin De Leon followed Oh and hit a ground rule double to left field scoring Oh which extended Charleston's lead to 3-0.
Jake Cave was at it again in the seventh as he led things off with a triple. Cave would later come around to score the final run of the game on an RBI single by Greg Bird. Cave finished the night 1-for-2 with a triple, two walks and two runs scored in the leadoff spot. Bird, De Leon, Oh and Jackson Valera all finished with multiple hits to help lead the offensive barrage for the RiverDogs in which eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit.
Rome starter Frank LaFreniere (3-6) took the hard luck loss as he went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits and he struck out four. Former starter Patrick Scoggin replaced LaFreniere to start the sixth and struggled in his two innings of work as he allowed a pair of runs on five hits and struckout two in his first relief appearance on the season. Alex Wilson relieved Scoggin to start the eighth and pitched the final two frames in which he allowed one run on three hits and hit a batter.
Offensively for the Braves, it was another night to forget. After scoring just two runs the night before, the offense struggled yet again as they could only muster four hits off of RiverDogs pitching. Carlos Franco was the lone Brave with multiple hits as he finished 2-for-3 with a double and a single.
Rome's only run came in the seventh inning as they capitalized on the struggles of RiverDogs reliever Brett Gerritse. Following three consecutive walks to start the inning, Gerritse was pulled in favor of James Pazos who allowed a sac fly to Jose Peraza to right field that plated Casey Kalenkosky for Rome's lone run of the night.