CHARLESTON, SC - A walk-off single by Dante Bichette, Jr. pushed the Charleston RiverDogs to a 2-1 victory past the Augusta GreenJackets in South Atlantic League play Friday night in front of 3,533 fans at Joseph p. Riley, Jr. Park. With the win, the RiverDogs move to 6-3 on the season and take sole possession of 1st place of the SAL Southern Division while the GreenJackets fall to 5-4 and drop to 2nd place.
Augusta strung together consecutive two out hits by Travious Relaford and Ben Turner in the top of the 5th inning to score the first run of the game.
Gabe Encinas received a no decision as the RiverDogs offense failed to produce any runs for him. He pitched six strong innings, giving up one run on three hits and struck out six batters. Ben Paullus appeared in relief for three quality innings. He allowed no hits, no runs, walked two batters, and recorded four strikeouts. Dietrich Enns (1-0) finished the game on the mound for the RiverDogs and earned his first win of the season.
GreenJackets starting pitcher Chris Stratton pitched five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, walking two, and recording seven strikeouts on his way to a no decision. He was relieved by Mason McVay who pitched three innings, allowed one hit, giving up one run, and striking out five RiverDogs hitters. Ian Gardeck (0-1) finished the game and received the loss for Augusta.
Charleston tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the 8th inning on a solo homer by Peter O'Brien (2-4), his second of the season. O'Brien led the RiverDogs offense as he tallied two of the seven total hits for the team. Behind the plate, he also made an excellent diving catch on a pop up bunt by Eric Sim.
In the bottom of the 10th inning Kelvin DeLeon and Taylor Dugas attempted to start a RiverDogs rally with consecutive two out singles. Both runners were stranded, however, after a groundout by Cito Culver.
In the top of the 11th inning Augusta tried to capitalize on Charleston's missed opportunity. Matt Duffy led off the inning with a single and advanced to second base after Mitchell Delfino drew a walk. Duffy then stole third but was left on base after Paullus struck out Stephen Branca to get out of the inning.
The RiverDogs answered in the bottom of the frame. Rob Refsnyder singled and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then reached third base on a ground ball and scored the winning run on a walk-off single by Dante Bichette, Jr.
"Overall, it was a great team effort, great pitching, the defense phenomenal and some timely hitting. That was a nice win for us," said RiverDogs manager Al Pedrique.