In another low-scoring pitchers’ duel, the Charleston RiverDogs were able to capitalize on a few mistakes by the Greensboro Grasshoppers to take a 3-2 victory Saturday night at Joe Riley Park in front of 3,687 fans on Christmas in July night.
The RiverDogs improved to 20-12 in the second half and 59-41 overall. Greensboro dropped to 16-18 and 49-54.
Charleston struck first again Saturday night. Jake Cave reached on an error by Greensboro first baseman Viosergy Rosa, but was caught stealing second with Cito Culver at the plate. Culver then reached on an error by shortstop Anthony Gomez. Greg Bird hit a ground-rule double to put runners at first and third for Dante Bichette Jr. Bichette struck out swinging, and as the ball got away from the catcher, Culver broke for home and scored as Bichette was thrown out at first.
Greensboro got even in the top of the third inning when a Juancito Martinez double scored Jose Behar.
The RiverDogs took the lead for good in the fourth with two more runs. Bird led the inning off with a walk and went to third on a Bichette single. With runners at the corners, Greensboro starter Ramon Del Orbe balked, scoring Bird and advancing Bichette to third. Reymond Nunez later singled to bring in Bichette for the RiverDogs’ final run.
The Grasshoppers scored their second and final run on a solo homer by Matt Juengel in the eighth inning.
RiverDogs starter Brett Gerritse (8-5) became the staff’s first eight-game winner as he tossed five innings and allowed a run on four hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. James Pazos pitched two scoreless frames in relief, allowing just one hit with a strikeout. Former South Carolina standout Tyler Webb picked up the six-out save, his first as a RiverDog, and allowed a run on one hit with three strikeouts.
Del Orbe (5-7) took the loss. He worked seven innings and allowed three runs (two earned) and nine hits, with four strikeouts and one walk.
It was Christmas in July at The Joe as the park was adorned with festive decorations. Christmas music played over the loudspeakers, and Santa Claus made an appearance. Charleston wore special jerseys that were auctioned off after the game, with the money raised going to the Salvation Army.
The finale of the four-game set against Greensboro is at 5:05 p.m. Sunday at Riley Park. Left-hadner Daniel Camarena (3-4, 4.63 ERA) will be on the mound for Charleston, while Greensboro will start right-hander Austin Brice (6-7, 5.78).