Luis Severino recorded the first quality start of his professional career for the Charleston RiverDogs, but Sebastian Vader’s seven-plus innings and late offense gave the Delmarva Shorebirds a 4-3 victory on Friday night in front of 4,489 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston slipped below .500 and Delmarva inched closer to an even record as both teams close the evening with identical marks of 13-14.
Delmarva grabbed the game’s first lead at 1-0 in the second inning. Trey Mancini’s leadoff single opened the frame before Severino picked up a strikeout and a fly out. Alex Murphy extended the inning with a single before Mancini scored on a single from Josh Hart.
The RiverDogs came from behind to take a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the third. Jose Rosario and Gosuke Katoh got into scoring position after a single and a double, respectively. Eduardo de Oleo tied the game with a sacrifice fly and Abiatal Avelino pushed in the go-ahead run on a groundout.
In the fourth inning, Conor Bierfeldt tied the contest for the Shorebirds. After two straight strikeouts from Severino, Bierfeldt hit a home run to left field to even the score at 2-2. It was his second home run of the season, both coming against the RiverDogs within the past week.
Severino escaped a bases-loaded jam with a double play in the sixth, but the Shorebirds regained the lead against the Charleston bullpen in the seventh. Gregory Lorenzo hit into a force out and brought in Hart for a 3-2 Delmarva lead. The advantage grew to 4-2 when Lorenzo scored following back-to-back singles.
Charleston’s best chance to retake the lead came in the eighth inning. Vader entered the inning with five consecutive strikeouts before Katoh’s leadoff single broke the streak. Dylan Rheault relieved Vader and recorded a strikeout prior to a sacrifice bunt by Avelino. Katoh scored on Tyler Wade’s single to cut the deficit to 4-3. An Aaron Judge double put two runners in scoring position, but neither would score on an inning-ending fly out as Delmarva held on to the lead.
Vader improved to 3-1 with the victory, throwing a season-high seven-plus innings for Delmarva. Jordan Cote allowed two runs in the seventh inning and fell back to 1-1 after the loss. Jimmy Yacabonis pitched a scoreless final inning for his seventh save in as many opportunities. Severino struck out seven to lead all pitchers but did not factor in the decision.
BALLPARK FUN: Prior to Friday’s contest between Charleston and Delmarva, The Citadel opened a three-game series against Wofford and defeated the Terriers 8-1. The RiverDogs and many fans wore red for ISHPI Red Shirt Friday, which ended with another fantastic fireworks display over the scenic Ashley River following the game.
COMING UP: Game two of this four-game series is scheduled for 6:05pm on Saturday evening. LHP Ian Clarkin (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is expected to make his RiverDogs debut against Shorebirds RHP Luc Rennie (0-2, 9.16 ERA). Social Media Saturday encourages fans to make requests to the RiverDogs on Facebook and Twitter for in-game music, promotions, and other features. The Joe is also hosting Greek Heritage Night and Moncks Corner Night for Saturday’s game. Former Clemson Tigers football stars Tajh Boyd and Quandon Christian will both be on-hand mingling with fans. 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.