For the third straight contest, the Charleston RiverDogs came up a little bit short in their bid for late-inning magic, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Columbia Fireflies on Wednesday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. The RiverDogs continued to struggle with men on base, going 1-8 with runners in scoring position.
Columbia (3-2) jumped in front three batters into the game when Carter Jensen turned around a 3-1 offering from JJ Goss for a solo home run. The 18-year-old catcher has hit a home run in each of the first two games in the series.
A two-out rally in the fifth allowed the RiverDogs (2-3) to tie the game. Gionti Turner registered the home team’s second hit of the game by rolling a ball into left field. He quickly stole second base and raced around to score on Mason Auer’s single to left.
The Fireflies didn’t need long to regain the advantage. In the top of the sixth, Edgar Martinez reached on an infield single and stole second base off of Victor Munoz. He advanced to third on Erick Pena’s deep fly ball, but had to stay there when Dru Baker made a diving grab of Jensen’s sinking line drive in center field. Two pitches later a passed ball by Luis Leon allowed Martinez to scamper home.
Columbia added the final run of the game via a similar script in the eighth. Martinez singled, stole second and advanced to third on wild pitch. Jensen’s bouncer to second was bobbled momentarily by Ryan Spikes allowing Martinez to score to make it 3-1.
In the bottom of the ninth, the RiverDogs mounted a two-out rally. Shane Sasaki reached on an error and Luis Leon muscled a single into right field to put the tying runner on base. However, Bobby Seymour’s line drive was caught by right fielder Jaswel De Los Santos to end the game.
Fireflies starter Ben Hernandez went 4.0 scoreless innings and allowed just a single hit. Heribert Garcia earned the win by tossing the final 5.0 innings while striking out five. Martinez went 3-4 with two runs scored at the plate and Jensen chipped in two RBI.
Goss made his full-season debut, allowing just the solo home run in 2.0 innings. Munoz and Kyle Witten each surrendered one run out of the pen. Aneudy Cortorreal worked a scoreless ninth with a pair of strikeouts.
The RiverDogs created a sensory-friendly environment on Autism Advocacy Night so that fans on the autism spectrum could relax and enjoy a game at The Joe. In addition, Kristina Blake from the Autism News Network was on hand to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
The RiverDogs and Fireflies will continue their series with game three on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Antonio Jimenez (0-0, 0.00) will make his second start for the RiverDogs opposite Columbia LHP Noah Cameron (0-0, 9.00). The game will mark the first Thirsty Thursday of the 2022 season with $1 beers throughout the park.
Tickets are available for each of the games remaining in the team’s season-opening homestand at riverdogs.com. RiverDogs season tickets, flexible ticket plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are available at riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS).
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