The Charleston RiverDogs debuted their specially-made seersucker uniforms and staged a late comeback against the Augusta GreenJackets, but the new jerseys did not lead to a victory as Augusta won 3-2 on Sunday in front of 4,312 fans at Riley Park in South Atlantic League baseball.
The RiverDogs (3-7) have lost five consecutive games. The GreenJackets have a 7-4 record after sweeping a four-game series at The Joe.
Both the RiverDogs and the GreenJackets scored in the opening inning. With two outs and two runners aboard, Augusta's Christian Arroyo hit a single to right field that was misplayed, allowing Brandon Bednar and Devin Harris to score for a 2-0 GreenJackets lead.
Charleston cut that lead in half during the bottom of the first. Abiatal Avelino came in on an Aaron Judge single that brought the RiverDogs within a run. Two batters later, Michael O'Neill hit a fly ball to left-center field that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double, holding Judge at third base. Both runners were stranded in scoring position on an inning-ending flyout.
Augusta pushed its advantage to 3-1 in the fourth inning. Shawn Payne collected a leadoff double and quickly moved to third on a Tyler Horan single. Leonardo Rojas grounded into a forceout that scored Payne for the two-run margin.
The RiverDogs' bullpen held the GreenJackets scoreless through the final five innings. Cesar Vargas struck out four in three shutout innings, while Stefan Lopez answered with two clean innings of his own.
GreenJackets starting pitcher Matthew Lujan (2-0) and reliever Daniel Slania each fired six strikeouts before the RiverDogs started to rally against Raymundo Montero. Tyler Wade and Judge reached and advanced into scoring position on a Mike Ford groundout. A wild pitch scored Wade to cut the deficit to 3-2 while Judge made it to third on the play. However, a strikeout and a groundout ended the game as the RiverDogs left the potential tying run at third base. Slania picked up a hold before Montero earned his second save.
The loss was taken by Charleston's Caleb Smith (1-1).
Seersucker Sunday included the debut of the RiverDogs' new specially made seersucker uniforms, featuring light blue pinstripes, numbers and "CHARLESTON" script. It was also a big day at The Joe for the children in attendance as it was Kids Opening Day, with 1,000 free youth T-shirts given away.
Charleston begins a three-game road trip at Greenville at 7:05 p.m. Monday. The RiverDogs will call on RHP Rookie Davis (1-0, 2.70 ERA) to pitch against Drive LHP Cody Kukuk (1-0, 3.38). After the road series, Charleston will return to the Lowcountry and host a three-game set against the Rome Braves that starts on Thursday. Thursday's homestand opener will be another Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX, complete with DJ Natty Heavy, $1 drafts, and a Wild Wing Café wing-eating contest in the Ashley View Pub. The Dunder Chiefs will perform a postgame concert adjacent to the Beer Garden thanks to Palmetto Brewery and Awendaw Green. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on WTMA 1250-AM, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.