The Charleston RiverDogs lost a pair of early two-run leads on the way to an 8-4 loss at the hands of the Columbia Fireflies at Segra Park on Saturday night. The Fireflies hit two home runs in the game and have launched nine in the five-game series.
Both teams wasted no time getting on the board, scoring two runs each in the opening inning. Alika Williams singled on the first pitch of the game and quickly stole second base. Diego Infante drove him in with a two-out single and Heriberto Hernandez followed with an RBI double to put the RiverDogs (39-18) on top 2-0. In the bottom of the frame, Kale Emshoff registered the first of his two big hits on the night with a two-out, two-RBI single that pulled the Fireflies even.
Michael Berglund’s first professional home run, a two-run blast in the fourth inning, again allowed Charleston to move in front 4-2. However, Seth Johnson could not work out of trouble for a third consecutive inning, surrendering a game-tying home run to Maikel Garcia in the bottom of the frame.
The RiverDogs failed to muster another scoring opportunity, going hitless over the final five innings. Meanwhile, Columbia (29-26) took their first lead in the home half of the fifth. Juan Carlos Negret put them on top with an RBI single up the middle and Emshoff followed with a two-run blast that extended the advantage to 7-4. A Rubendy Jaquez RBI single provided the final damage in the eighth.
Seth Johnson, the RiverDogs starter, allowed seven runs on ten hits over 4.2 innings. The amount of runs and hits he allowed were each the most in a game for a RiverDogs pitcher this season. Audry Lugo provided respite to a beleaguered bullpen by tossing the final 3.1 innings. The right-hander surrendered an unearned run on three hits while lowering his earned run average to 0.64.
Infante was the only RiverDogs player with multiple hits, going 2-4 with a double. Columbia had five players record at least two hits with Tyler Tolbert collecting three. Emshoff finished with four runs batted in.
RHP Taj Bradley (6-3, 2.42) will make his second start of the series in the finale on Sunday evening. The Fireflies will turn to RHP Cruz Noriega (3-1, 3.92). The game gets underway at 5:05 p.m.
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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