Bichettes walk-off single lifts RiverDogs over Sand Gnats
Dante Bichette, Jr. hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning as the Charleston RiverDogs escaped with an 8-7 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats in South Atlantic League action on Saturday night at Riley Park in front of a crowd of 4,595.
Charleston (38-23) started the inning trailing 7-5, but Kelvin De Leon got things started with a lead-off double. After an out and walk, Mason Williams singled to score one run and the tying run moved to third, with Williams taking second on the throw. A groundout by Cito Culver brought in the tying run and then Bichette came up and ended the game.
“That was a big win, especially falling behind early,” said manager Carlos Mendoza. “We fell behind, but the bullpen was really good. We were facing a really good lefty. The guys kept putting together good at-bats and Dante got the walk-off. That was a big win.”
A major reason that the rally was possible in the ninth was the performance of RiverDogs reliever John Brebbia (1-0). Brebbia pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, striking out five. Savannah loaded the bases against him in the ninth, but he proceeded to strike out the next three batters to keep the deficit at two.
Gardner suffers setback
Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner had another setback in his slow recovery from a strained right elbow.
New York manager Joe Girardi said Gardner felt pain when he woke up Saturday, a day after playing five innings in a rehab game Friday night with the Charleston RiverDogs. The speedy outfielder will be examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday or Tuesday and then later in the week by Dr. Timothy Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds’ medical director.
Sidelined since April 18 with an injury to his non-throwing arm, Gardner has cut short two minor league rehab assignments because of discomfort. After the latest setback, Girardi acknowledged he doesn’t expect Gardner back until after the All-Star break.
In the final game of this homestand, the RiverDogs and RHP Evan Rutckyj (2-2, 6.60 ERA) will take on RHP Marco Camarena (4-1, 1.38 ERA). Fans will enjoy free parking and Pepsi is presenting Kids Eat Free. Also, Dog Day No. 4 allows fans to bring their dogs to the game, which is set to begin at 5 p.m.