The Charleston RiverDogs scored the final four runs, including a go-ahead single by Tyler Wade, to defeat the Rome Braves 8-7 on Thursday evening in front of 5,841 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs now have a 7-7 record this season following their fourth straight victory. The Braves slide back to 5-10. Charleston now has a 1-0 lead in this three-game series at Riley Park.
Michael O’Neill cleared the bases on a standup triple in the first inning. O’Neill hit a line drive into the left field corner for a three-base hit that scored Abiatal Avelino, Aaron Judge, and Miguel Andujar for a 3-0 Charleston lead.
In the top of the second, Rome cut its deficit to 3-2. Joey Meneses hit a leadoff home run to right field. Later in the frame, Dan Carroll kept the inning alive with a two-out single. Carroll came home after a stolen base coupled with a throwing error and a wild pitch.
Charleston reinforced its lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the second without any base hits. Gosuke Katoh was hit by a pitch to open the inning and scored on three consecutive walks, giving the RiverDogs a two-run advantage.
Rome rallied to get ahead of Charleston with five straight runs. The Braves tied the game in the fifth inning with back-to-back RBI singles from Mikey Reynolds and Johan Camargo. In the sixth, Victor Caratini put the Braves ahead 5-4 on a sacrifice fly. Rome added to the lead on a Carroll double and a Cody Livesey squeeze play that built a 7-4 advantage.
It was the RiverDogs turn to work from behind, and Charleston came back to tie the game by the seventh inning. After an error brought in John Murphy and Eduardo de Oleo in the sixth, Aaron Judge blasted a solo shot to left field in the seventh for the game-tying score and his first career home run.
A two-out rally in the eighth pushed the RiverDogs past the Braves for good. Singles from de Oleo and Avelino extended the frame for Wade, who singled to score de Oleo and gave Charleston an 8-7 lead. Rome was able to put the potential tying run on base in the ninth inning before the RiverDogs closed the game.
Stefan Lopez pitched a scoreless eighth inning and took the win, improving to 1-0. Race Parmenter is 0-1 after being charged with a blown save and a loss. The save went to Nick Rumbelow, his second of the season.
BALLPARK FUN: RiverDogs fans enjoyed many great drink specials, including the debut of “The Original” RiverDogs branded beer in the Palmetto Brewery Beer Garden and $1 drafts in the Ashley View Pub on Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, presented by 95SX. After hosting a RiverDogs victory, The Joe stayed open a little bit longer to host a postgame concert near the Beer Garden by The Dunder Chiefs, courtesy of Palmetto Brewery and Awendaw Green.
COMING UP: Game two of this three-game series will feature RiverDogs LHP Caleb Smith (1-1, 2.00 ERA) and Braves RHP Andry Ubiera (0-2, 8.59 ERA). First pitch at The Joe is scheduled for 7:05pm. Wear red to the game on ISHPI Red Shirt Friday and save $1 off your ticket purchase at the box office, or donate that dollar to the Canines for Veterans and Folds of Honor charities. Enjoy $3 Aluminum Pint Night from Miller and Coors and stick around after the contest for postgame fireworks over the scenic Ashley River. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. 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 www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.