CHARLESTON, SC - Charleston RiverDogs starting pitcher Evan Rutckyj earned his sixth victory of the season as Charleston won 4-2 over the Asheville Tourists in South Atlantic League play Saturday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 4,882 fans.
With the win the RiverDogs move to 34-23 on the season and remain in second place behind the Savannah Sand Gnats in the Southern Division. The loss moves the Tourists to 33-27 on the season and they remain in third place in the Southern Division.
The Asheville offense struggled against Rutckyj (6-3) who held the Tourists scoreless for the first six innings of the game. In 6.2 innings of work, Rutckyj allowed two runs on six hits and recorded seven strikeouts. The 6.2 innings is the longest outing by a RiverDogs pitcher all season.
Charleston scored the first runs of the ball game in the bottom of the third inning. Following a Danny Oh single and walks to Taylor Dugas and Greg Bird, Peter O'Brien (2-4, 2 RBI) hit a two RBI bases loaded double into the left field corner. With the bases again loaded, Jake Cave drove in Bird with a deep sacrifice fly to left-center field. O'Brien then scored the fourth RiverDogs run on a Reymond Nunez groundball single to left field.
Asheville managed to score its first runs in the top of the seventh. Matt Argyropolous led off the inning with a single and later scored on a Michael Ramirez single to center field. Jason Stolz then scored from third base as Charleston shortstop Cito Culver was unable to cleanly field a Matt Wessinger sharp hit groundball. Rutckyj was relieved in the inning by Derek Varnadore.
Varnadore finished the game on the mound for Charleston and earned his second save of the year. In 2.1 perfect innings of work Varnadore recorded two strikeouts without allowing a runner to reach base safely.
BALLPARK FUN: The first 1,000 fans through the gates received Beats by Charlie Headphones presented by WCSC Channel 5. Following the game, kids were joined by RiverDogs catcher Wes Wilson as they ran the bases!
COMING UP: The rubber match of this three-game series against the Asheville Tourists is set for Sunday night at 5:05. RHP Vicente Campos (1-1, 4.21 ERA) will be on the mound for Charleston and will face off against RHP Shane Broyles (1-7, 7.44 ERA) for the Tourists in the winner-take-all series finale. Players will be wearing throwback jerseys in honor of Negro League Day! It will also be the fifth and final Dog Day of the year. Plus, it's another Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and Crews Subaru Kids Club Sunday presented by Y102.5. There will be free parking, members of the Kid's Club will get in for free, and kids 12 and under will receive a coupon for a hot dog, a Pepsi, and a bag of chips.