Charleston starter Evan Rutckyj held the Rome Braves offense to just one run in six innings of work as the RiverDogs edged Rome 4-2 Thursday night at State Mutual Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
With the victory, the RiverDogs improve to 40-29 overall and 1-0 in the second half. With the loss, Rome drops to 36-34 overall and 0-1 in the second half.
Charleston starter Evan Rutckyj (7-4) earned his team leading seventh win of the season after going six strong innings during which he allowed just one run on seven hits while striking out six. Rutckyj got into a jam in the sixth when he allowed a two-out single and a walk. But he was able to comeback and get a big strikeout to end the inning and his night. Rutckyj was relieved by Derek Varnadore who pitched a scoreless seventh that saw him record all three outs. Phil Wetherell came in to relieve Varnadore to start the eighth and pitched the rest of the way for the RiverDogs to earn his second save of the season. Wetherell's final line was two innings that saw him allow a run on one hit and a walk.
Charleston got on the board early thanks to a leadoff walk by Jake Cave in the first inning to get things started. Cave would steal second base and come around to score two batters later when Greg Bird doubled him in for the early 1-0 lead. Charleston struck for their second run of the game in the second inning. Following a leadoff groundout, Kelvin De Leon came to the plate and singled. With Jose Rosario at the plate, De Leon stole second to move into scoring position. Rosario ended up drawing a walk and De Leon got to third on a passed ball. Danny Oh came to the plate and knocked in De Leon on a fielders choice to give the RiverDogs a 2-0 lead.
The RiverDogs' final two runs came in the seventh where the RiverDogs sent seven men to the plate on four hits. Greg Bird and Danny Oh both finished the night with two RBI's a piece, knocking in all of the runs for Charleston. Oh and Kelvin De Leon both finished 2-for-4 at the plate.
Rome starter Wes Parsons (2-4) took the hard luck loss as he looked almost as good as Evan Rutckyj on the mound. He went five innings and allowed two runs, one earned on just two hits and struckout seven. Parsons was relieved to start the sixth by Zach Jadofsky who struggled on the rubber. He went 1.2 innings and allowed two runs on three hits but struckout three. Eric Pfisterer relieved Jadofsky and went 1.1 innings and just allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout. Bryam Garcia came in for the ninth and tossed a perfect inning in relief.
Offensively for the Braves, they were held to just a pair of runs which came across in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Casey Kalenkosky and in the bottom of the ninth on another RBI double. With an out and a runner at first Ronald Luna came to the plate and doubled to center to score Carlos Franco all the way from first. Casey Kalenkosy and Chase Anselment were the only two Braves players to record multiple hits in Thursday's game.
Game two of this four game series against the Braves is scheduled for 7pm Friday at State Mutual Stadium in Rome, Georgia. Charleston sends RHP Vicente Campos (1-2, 4.70 ERA) to the mound as Rome counters with fellow RHP Frank LaFreniere (3-5, 5.48 ERA). You can listen live to the game locally on ESPN 910 AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.