Columbia, SC – The Charleston RiverDogs hit four home runs, including two from Diego Infante, in a run-away 15-2 victory over the Columbia Fireflies on Thursday night at Segra Park. The RiverDogs have hit 109 home runs this season, matching the franchise’s single-season high set in both 2005 and 2008. The team has won five straight games and lowered the magic number to clinch a playoff spot to four.
Infante’s first home run came in the top of the second inning with the RiverDogs (74-31) already leading 1-0. Michael Berglund reached base on a fielder’s choice groundout and Osleivis Basabe singled with two outs to set the table. Infante blasted a ball to right field for his 13th home run of the season, expanding the lead to 4-0.
In the third inning, the RiverDogs ripped off three consecutive extra-base hits with one out. Alexander Ovalles started the rally with a double to the gap and Jonathan Embry followed by smacking an RBI triple to the right field wall. In the ensuing at-bat, Garrett Hiott hit a two-run home run, his fourth with the RiverDogs, as the advantage swelled to 7-0.
Columbia (47-58) trailed 8-0 when reliever Chase Wallace walked the first three batters of the fifth inning to load the bases. Michael Berglund, Infante and Tanner Murray each drove in runs with a sacrifice fly, fielder’s choice and infield single, respectively. Beau Brundage capped the six-run stanza by launching a ball over the batter’s eye in center field for a three-run home run.
The final home run was provided by Infante in the seventh. With two outs, he lined a pitch over the wall in right-center for his team-leading 14th round-tripper of the campaign. It was Infante’s first game with multiple home runs this season and the ninth by a RiverDogs player in 2021. The designated hitter finished the game 2-4 with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored. One day after falling behind Columbia’s Juan Carlos Negret for the Low-A East RBI lead, Infante moved back in front with 76 to Negret’s 73.
The Fireflies broke up the RiverDogs bid for a shutout with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Luis Moncada, the first man out of the bullpen, earned the win by compiling nine strikeouts over 4.0 innings of work. Starter Victor Munoz made his full-season debut by tossing 3.0 scoreless frames. Neraldo Catalina allowed one run on a hit and two walks in the eighth and Andrew Gross turned in a scoreless ninth inning to close the evening.
At the plate, the RiverDogs received three hits from Basabe and two hits from Infante, Murray, Brundage and Hiott. Brundage totaled three runs batted in while Murray and Hiott each drove in a pair.
The RiverDogs have guaranteed themselves of nothing worse than a split by winning the first three games of the series. The team can secure another road series win with a victory on Friday night with RHP Seth Johnson (3-6, 3.20) on the mound. Columbia will try to earn their first win of the series with RHP Luinder Avila (2-1, 2.03) toeing the rubber.
Playoff tickets for the Low-A East Championship Series in September are on sale now at riverdogs.com. For a limited time, fans who purchase tickets to the team’s first home playoff game will receive all subsequent home games for free. Purchase playoff tickets here.
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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