Cito Culver reached base three times and drove in the eventual winning run as the Charleston RiverDogs squeaked by the Hagerstown Suns, 4-3, on Thursday night in South Atlantic League action at Riley Park in front of 3,715 fans.
The victory also snapped an eight-game home losing streak for the RiverDogs (61-53, 22-25 second half).
“It was nice to finally get a big win at home,” said RiverDogs manager Carlos Mendoza. “That was a fantastic outing by Corey Black. I was really impressed by the way he threw the ball. The sacrifice fly by Gamel got it started, and then we got some timely hitting. That was a big win for us.”
Black and Hagerstown’s Blake Schwartz (1-1) each kept the opposing offenses in check until the Suns (67-49, 25-22) broke through in the fourth on an RBI single by Matthew Skole. They notched a second run in the fifth when Adrian Nieto doubled and scored on a single by Brett Newsome.
Black (1-0) stopped Hagers-town there and only allowed two runs in six innings, along with four hits, one walk and five strikeouts. He pitched well enough to earn his first win in professional baseball.
The RiverDogs rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Ben Gamel brought in the first run by scalding a sacrifice fly to left. Saxon Butler then put his team ahead when he lined a two-run double into right. Culver added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make the score 4-2. With a single and two walks, Culver reached base for the 27th consecutive game.
The RiverDogs will give the ball to RHP Brett Gerritse (4-5, 3.89 ERA) to square off against RHP Blake Schwartz (2-4, 4.91 ERA) today at 7 p.m. Fans who come out to the game wearing red will receive $1 off their tickets. The three newest members of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame, Gettys Glaze, Tom Hatley and John Rhodes, will be inducted before the game. the The evening will finish up with postgame fireworks.