Series-opening slugfest goes to RiverDogs, 8-7

GREENVILLE, S.C. (DOGS) - In a long, high-scoring affair that also included a 40-minute rain delay, the Charleston RiverDogs topped the Greenville Drive with an 8-7 victory on Tuesday evening at Fluor Field at the West End in South Atlantic League action. Tuesday's win also allowed the RiverDogs to even their overall record and return to .500 for the first time since May 30. Charleston jumped to 31-27 in the second half and 64-64 overall. The RiverDogs had been as many as 14 games below .500 before returning to a non-losing record on Tuesday. Greenville slipped to 18-40 and 52-75, respectively while falling to an early 1-0 deficit against Charleston in this three-game series. Both teams scored in the first inning to set the tone for a back-and-forth battle. Charleston's Abiatal Avelino led off the game with a double and later scored on a wild pitch during a walk to Michael O'Neill. Greenville scored twice, tying the game with a sacrifice fly from Sam Travis before a Kevin Mager single drove in the go-ahead run to give the Drive a 2-1 lead. The RiverDogs rallied for five runs in the top of the third and took a 6-2 advantage. Gosuke Katoh walked and Avelino walked before a rain delay interrupted a plate appearance by Tyler Wade. Following the delay, Wade drew a walk that loaded the bases. After back-to-back fly outs, Jackson Valera singled to tie the game. Yeicok Calderon, Brandon Thomas, and Eduardo de Oleo all drove in runs with walks. Katoh added another run with a single to cap the scoring. Greenville answered with a run in its half of the third inning to slide within 6-3. Cole Sturgeon reached second base on a leadoff single that was coupled with an error. Three batters later, Sturgeon scored during a double by Travis. Home runs in each end of the fourth inning left Charleston's lead at 7-5. Miguel Andujar blasted a solo shot for the RiverDogs, which was his career-best 10th home run of the season. In the bottom of the fourth, Tim Roberson clobbered his 7th blast for the Drive, a two-run clout that sliced Greenville's gap in half. Another RiverDogs run in the sixth increased the lead to 8-5. Andujar's two-out double extended the inning. Andujar moved to third base after a single from Valera and scored during a single by Calderon. The Drive rallied in the eighth, but it was stopped short at 8-7 in favor of the RiverDogs. With two outs and the bases loaded, Wendell Rijo singled to drive in Danny Bethea. Jimmy Rider scored on a wild pitch to cut the difference to one. However, a groundout closed the inning and Greenville was held scoreless in the ninth. Conor Mullee picked up his first RiverDogs win, tossing 1.2 shutout innings and moving to 1-0 for Charleston. Daniel McGrath lost and fell to 5-6 after allowing a career-high seven walks and six runs. Eric Ruth pitched the final 1.1 innings for a save, his sixth of the season. COMING UP: Game two of this three-game series will be played at 7:05pm on Wednesday evening with RiverDogs RHP Andy Beresford (1-1, 3.79 ERA) scheduled to face Drive RHP Myles Smith (4-9, 5.87 ERA). The last RiverDogs homestand follows this road trip as Charleston will host Greenville from Tuesday, August 26 through Thursday, August 28. The homestand finale features a special start time of 6:35pm as well as postgame fireworks. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball. Box Score: