The Charleston RiverDogs scored 18 unanswered runs during an offensive onslaught that helped the team advance to their third-straight Carolina League Championship Series on Friday night. The RiverDogs posted multiple runs in six different innings, including each of the last four, on the way to an 18-4 victory over the
The Charleston RiverDogs scored 18 unanswered runs during an offensive onslaught that helped the team advance to their third-straight Carolina League Championship Series on Friday night. The RiverDogs posted multiple runs in six different innings, including each of the last four, on the way to an 18-4 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Pelicans Ballpark. The RiverDogs will face the Down East Wood Ducks in a best-of-three championship series.
For the second straight night, the RiverDogs put a man on third base with just one out in the first inning. In a repeat of Thursday’s game, they failed to score, missing out on an opportunity to take a quick lead. This time, Myrtle Beach countered almost immediately in the bottom half. Brett Bateman, who ended the RiverDogs rally with a diving catch, singled to left to start the attack. Jefferson Rojas followed with a walk, allowing Pedro Ramirez to drive in the first run of the game with another single. With men on the corners and no outs, Brian Kalmer bounced into a 4-6-3 double play as a second run crossed the plate.
Charleston bounced back with two runs in the top of the second inning to tie the game. Jhon Diaz reached on an error by pitcher Marino Santy with one out. He was then replaced at first base when Cristopher Barete rolled into a fielder’s choice. Barete scored all the way from first when Raudelis Martinez lined an RBI triple past the diving left fielder Andy Garriola. Brayden Taylor worked a walk to get Xavier Isaac to the plate. The first baseman came through with a soft single to left that evened the score at 2-2.
The key to opening up the ballgame was a massive third inning in which the RiverDogs sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring five runs on four hits. Cooper Kinney opened that frame with a go-ahead solo home run that put Charleston on top 3-2. The bases became loaded with a single by Ryan Spikes, hit by pitch of Colton Ledbetter and free pass to Odalys Peguero. Diaz took advantage by lining a two-run single back up the middle with two strikes. Later in the frame, Isaac capped the rally with a two-run single into center field.
The score held at 7-2 until the sixth inning when the RiverDogs went to work on expanding the advantage. The visitors scored three runs in that frame on an RBI single from Ledbetter, a wild pitch, and a balk with a man on third. Spikes made it 12-2 with a two-run double down the left field line in the seventh. Taylor’s first postseason home run, a two-run blast to right, increased the margin to 14-2 in the eighth. Finally, the ninth inning featured a three-run shot from Martinez as the RiverDogs tacked on four more to gain an 18-2 advantage.
The Pelicans scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Jack Hartman to reach the final margin. Hartman struck out Kalmer to end the game and set off a celebration near the pitcher’s mound.
The RiverDogs collected 17 hits in the game, with eight of them going for extra-bases. Eight different players collected at least one hit and eight different players drove in at least one run. Isaac led the way with a 3-6, four RBI effort. Martinez finished 2-4 with four RBI. Spikes also added three hits and raised his postseason batting average to .462.
Jake Christianson earned the win on the mound, working 3.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. 18-year-old Santiago Suarez started the game and worked 4.0 innings, allowing only the two runs in the first frame. He struck out five. Drew Sommers retired the side in order in the eighth inning.
The championship series begins on Sunday in Kinston at a time to be announced. Neither team has announced their starting pitcher for Game 1. Game 2 of the series will be at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Game 3 will also be played at The Joe on Wednesday, if necessary.