Four-run rally in ninth gives RiverDogs first win of the season
CHARLESTON, SC - With the infield drawn in, Leonardo Molina stroked a ground ball hit through the left side to cap off a four-run, ninth inning rally as the Charleston RiverDogs walked off, 9-8, over Lexington in front of 3,871 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Friday night.
After squandering an early 4-0 lead, the RiverDogs (1-1) found themselves trailing 8-4 heading into the eighth when they started a two-out rally. After Legends reliever Jace Vines (0-1, 10.80) had retired eight straight out of the pen, Molina singled in the eighth inning to spark a string of six consecutive base hits that carried over into the ninth inning.
Center fielder Estevan Florial smoked a ground ball up the middle to continue the rally and Isiah Gilliam drove in his second run of the game with a single to right. With runners now at first and second, Angel Aguilar singed a ground ball into right field that nicked off Gilliam, the fourth single in a row that resulted in an out to limit the damage at just a run.
After Trevor Lane (1-0, 0.00) rolled through a 1-2-3 ninth in his Class A debut, Charleston came back with two straight hits in the home half from Carlos Vidal and Eduardo Navas. Hoy Jun Park hustled down the first base line to avoid a double play and put runners at the corners for the right fielder Blake Rutherford who scorched a base hit to right that tied the ballgame and set Molina up for the game winning tally.
After falling behind by the same score the night before, Charleston leapt out to a 4-0 advantage in the bottom of the first sparked by a double by Park to lead off the frame on his 21st birthday. Gilliam drove in one with a sac fly and second baseman Angel Aguilar cracked a double on the first pitch he saw of the season to drive in a pair.
The Legends (1-1) capitalized on two RiverDogs errors and a balk by Charleston starter Freicer Perez to post a five run third inning, and got to the towering right-hander further in the fourth adding three runs on three hits, including a two-run double by Gabriel Cancel, that made it 8-4.
RiverDogs manager Patrick Osborn had to turn to the bullpen early for the second consecutive night with Perez exiting after 3.1 innings allow seven runs, three earned, on seven hits with five punch outs.
Lane picked up the win in his first appearance of the season. Oswaldo Cabrera and Rutherford each went 3-for-5, collecting 3 RBIs between them from the two and three spots in the order.
Adonis Rosa settled in after giving up hits to the first two batters he faced, and fanned four in 4.2 frames.
The RiverDogs welcomed Charleston's budding tech industry on Tech Night presented by Google. RadTab was voted by the fans as the best local tech upstart of the night and won a RiverDogs VIP prize pack. It was also the first Home Telecom Postgame Fireworks extravaganza of the season as fans were treated to early fireworks with the RiverDogs' walk-off victory.
The RiverDogs continue the series with the Legends on Saturday night. RHP Jio Orozco will get the start against as Lexington counters with RHP Gerson Garabito with each hurler making their first starts of the season. First pitch is set for 6:05pm.
RiverDogs season tickets, half-season ticket packages, mini plans, and group tickets are now available for the 2017 campaign, including options for the all-new Riley Park Club. Single-game tickets are now available and can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Those that can't make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area or by streaming online at riverdogs.com and the TuneIn Radio App by searching "RiverDogs."