The Charleston RiverDogs wore down the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers on the way to an 11-5 victory on Friday night at Atrium Health Ballpark. The victory was the seventh straight for the RiverDogs, matching their longest win streak of the season. Charleston has scored 45 runs over the first four games of the series.
For the second night in a row, Curtis Mead opened the scoring by blasting a solo home run in the top of the first inning. The long ball was his seventh of the year and third of the series. The lead was short-lived as Cabarea Weaver of Kannapolis launched a three-run shot off of Jose Lopez in the second frame to push the Cannon Ballers ahead 3-1.
The RiverDogs (35-15) tied the game in the fourth when Nick Schnell lined a two-out, two-RBI single to center to even the score 3-3. The game turned in the sixth, when the RiverDogs batted around against a pair of relievers. Brett Wisely led off with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Heriberto Hernandez. With two outs, Rigo Fernandez and Homer Cruz combined to walk the next three batters, loading the bases for Michael Berglund. The catcher cleared them with a three-RBI double to the left-center gap that extended the lead to 7-3. Alika Williams followed with an RBI single that made it 8-3.
With two on base and two outs in the eighth, Mead struck again with a line drive single to right that was scored as an RBI single. Weaver misplayed the ball in the outfield, leading to another run scoring on the play. Diego Infante scored the final run of the night for the RiverDogs by leading off the ninth with a triple and then racing home on Abiezel Ramirez’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Reliever Neraldo Catalina took over with an 11-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. He began the frame by walking Harvin Mendoza and then allowed an RBI double to Weaver that closed the gap to 11-4. Catalina walked two more batters to load the bases and Jose Rodriguez followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 11-5. Samil Polanco flew out moments later to end the game.
Mead led the charge once again with a 3-4 night at the plate that included a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Wisely joined him with multiple hits by going 2-5 with a double. The RiverDogs finished with nine hits in the contest. Weaver went 2-4 with a double, home run and four RBI to lead Kannapolis (15-36).
Lopez worked 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits while striking out a season-high eight batters. Audry Lugo picked up the win by tossing 2.0 scoreless frames. The right-hander has allowed just one hit in 8.2 innings this season. Andrew Gross extended his scoreless streak to 28.1 innings by retiring all four batters he faced.
The fifth installment of the series is set for 7:00 on Saturday night. LHP Ben Brecht (1-2, 3.90) will open the game on the hill for the RiverDogs. Kannapolis will call on RHP Andrew Dalquist (1-3, 4.70).
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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