Columbia, SC – The Charleston RiverDogs clinched a berth in the Low-A East Championship Series with a thrilling 7-6 win over the Columbia Fireflies in ten innings on Sunday evening at Segra Park. The 2021 RiverDogs will become the first Charleston baseball team to play for a championship since 1988. The victory also extended the team’s winning streak to eight games, matching their longest such streak of the season.
Tanner Murray delivered the decisive hit in the top of the tenth inning with the bases loaded and two outs. The designated hitter lined the second pitch he saw from Ryan Halligan into left field, driving in two runs in the process and handing the RiverDogs their first lead of the night at 7-5. Andrew Gross would allow only the inherited runner to score from second base in the bottom of the inning to secure the win. The final out was recorded on a fly ball to right fielder Diego Infante with a celebration near the mound beginning shortly after the ball nestled into his glove.
Murray only received the opportunity to deliver his big hit because of another from Matt Dyer one inning prior. The RiverDogs (77-31) trailed 5-4 and were down to their last out in the ninth inning with nobody on base. Dyer stepped in and drove a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left-center for a game-tying home run. The long ball was his second in as many nights and ninth of the season.
Columbia (47-61) stormed to a 4-0 lead in the first inning against RiverDogs starter Franklin Dacosta with help from a pair of errors. Abiezel Ramirez misplayed Peyton Wilson’s groundball to third to open the inning and Herard Gonzalez followed with a single to right. Ramirez committed another error on that play, allowing Gonzalez to move to second base. Darryl Collins took advantage with a two-run single through the left side to give the Fireflies a 2-0 lead. Collins was balked to second and scored on Saul Garza’s double to the left field corner. Before the inning concluded, Felix Familia added an RBI single.
The RiverDogs battled back to tie the game in the third. Osleivis Basabe worked a walk to start the inning and raced to third on Infante’s single to the right side. An RBI double from Murray would put the RiverDogs on the board. Beau Brundage quickly tied the game with a booming three-run home run over the batter’s eye in center field. The round-tripper was his sixth of the season.
The Fireflies entered the final innings with a lead thanks to Gonzalez’s solo home run off of Dacosta in the fifth, that made the score 5-4 in favor of the home team. Dacosta allowed five runs, three earned, in 5.0 innings while striking out five.
Gross earned the win by working the final 3.0 innings and allowing just the unearned run in the tenth. He struck out three and surrendered just one hit. Neraldo Catalina and Juan Rivera each tossed a scoreless frame to bridge the gap between Dacosta and Gross.
In a 16-hit effort, the RiverDogs received multiple knocks from six different players. Murray and Alexander Ovalles posted three hits as Basabe, Infante, Dyer and Brundage each were responsible for two. Murray and Brundage both drove in three runs. Infante extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
The RiverDogs will have Monday off and then return to the field at The Joe to begin the final homestand of the regular season on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. against Myrtle Beach. It will be the final Dog Day of the season along with $2 beer and hot dogs presented by Island Coastal Lager. In addition, it’s National Night Out with the Charleston Police Department. Receive a free kids ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket using promo code “NNO”.
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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