Columbia, SC— Charleston RiverDogs left fielder Alexander Ovalles enjoyed a game he will never forget on Saturday night at Columbia’s Segra Park. The left fielder launched three home runs and finished with a franchise single-game record 10 runs batted in to lead the RiverDogs to a 19-6 thrashing of the the Columbia Fireflies. His RBI total was the most in one game for a Minor League Baseball player since the 2015 season.
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Ovalles entered the game 1-24 at the plate on the year. The 20-year old finished the night 5-6 with three home runs along with his record-breaking RBI total. Ovalles is the first RiverDogs player to hit three home runs in the same game since Chris Gittens accomplished the feat in 2016.
The RiverDogs (6-5) scored at least one run in seven different innings, including 11 runs over the final two frames, to put together their most impressive offensive performance of the season. The 19 runs were the most scored by the RiverDogs since May 29, 2012 at Asheville’s McCormick Field. Meanwhile, the 19 hits collected by the team were the most since 2017.
Charleston jumped ahead in the first inning with an RBI single from Logan Driscoll only to watch Columbia tie the game in the bottom half when Maikel Garcia drove in Tyler Tolbert with a one-out single. Over the next two innings, Ovalles single-handedly put the RiverDogs on top 6-1. He blasted a two-run home run in the second inning and followed with a three-run shot in the third.
The lead ballooned to 8-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, but Columbia (6-5) wasn’t finished. Reliever Stephen Yancey walked the first three batters he faced to load the bases. Brady McConnell then pulled the Fireflies within three by hitting a grand slam over the center field wall. Garcia’s RBI groundout in the next inning pulled Columbia even closer at 8-6.
From that point forward it was all RiverDogs. Two Fireflies pitchers combined to walk the first five batters in the top of the eighth. Several wild pitches, a balk, a throwing error and a two-run single by Ovalles allowed Charleston to score five runs in the frame and widen the gap back to seven.
The first two batters in the ninth inning were retired and it appeared that Ovalles would not get another chance at the plate. However, Driscoll tripled to center field and both Nick Schnell and Diego Infante followed with singles to give him another opportunity. Ovalles fell behind Luis De Avila 0-2 before turning on a breaking ball and hooking his third home run over the right field wall. Abiezel Ramirez went back-to-back with Ovalles, hitting his first home run of the season in the next at bat.
Amidst the offensive explosion, John Doxakis became the first RiverDogs starting pitcher to work through the fifth inning, picking up the win after allowing just one run. Reliever Colby White also closed the game with 2.0 scoreless innings. He has not surrendered a run over 7.0 innings of work this season.
The road trip comes to a conclusion on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. RHP Cole Wilcox (0-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the series for the RiverDogs. Columbia will counter with RHP Anderson Paulino (1-0, 2.25).
All RiverDogs games are broadcast worldwide on riverdogs.com. A television broadcast of all 60 home games during the 2021 season will also be available via MiLB.TV. Games are also available on the MiLB First Pitch app.
RiverDogs season tickets, flexible ticket plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are now available for the 2021 campaign at riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS). A full schedule for the 2021 season is available at riverdogs.com.
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