Brady Lail won his fourth straight appearance and recorded a career-high nine strikeouts as the Charleston RiverDogs picked up a 3-1 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats on Sunday in front of 3,084 fans at Riley Park in South Atlantic League baseball.
Lail is also tied for the most wins in the league after his fifth victory of the year.
The RiverDogs (19-16) evened the four-game series with one win each. The Sand Gnats are now 24-10.
Lail allowed an unearned run in the first but held the Sand Gnats scoreless for the rest of his outing. Jared King's two-out single plated Jeff McNeil for a 1-0 Savannah lead. Over his final five innings, Lail allowed just three baserunners. He now joins Asheville's Johendi Jiminian, Delmarva's Dylan Rheault and Hagerstown's Nick Pivetta with a league-best five victories.
In the third inning, Charleston tied the contest at 1-1. Following two fly outs, Tyler Wade hit a triple against Savannah's Chris Flexen to keep the inning alive. The RiverDogs drew even when Mikeson Oliberto doubled to score Wade.
Two runs in the bottom of the fifth pushed the RiverDogs to a 3-1 lead. Gosuke Katoh walked and stole second base while Wade was at the plate. Wade brought in Katoh with a single and reached third base on a wild throw to home plate. Oliberto hit a sacrifice fly that scored Wade and gave Charleston a 3-1 advantage. Later in the inning, Mike Ford hit a single and extended his hit streak to a team-best and career-high eight consecutive games.
RiverDogs reliever Jordan Cote faced the minimum in the seventh before Savannah tried to start a rally in the eighth. After a one-out single and a two-out walk put the potential tying runs aboard, Cesar Vargas came out of the bullpen but loaded the bases on another walk. Vargas escaped the jam with a strikeout and pitched a perfect ninth inning to wrap up a RiverDogs win.
Lail's record is 5-1 after winning each of his last four starts. Flexen has a 1-4 record following the loss. Vargas earned his first save of the season.
Mother's Day was an extra special day at The Joe thanks to Gildan's "Pampering in the Park," which offered a mini-massage or mini-manicure to all moms in attendance. Banfield Pet Hospital sponsored Dog Day as dozens of fans brought their dogs to Sunday's contest. Children enjoyed another CCPRC and Crews Subaru Kids Club Sunday, presented by Y102.5, including pregame catch on the field and postgame autographs with the RiverDogs players.
Game 3 of this four-game series on Monday features RiverDogs RHP Jaron Long (2-1, 3.33 ERA) starting against Sand Gnats RHP Kevin McGowan (1-1, 2.77 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Coors and Magic 107.3 present Dollar Dogs and Beers Night with $1 hot dogs and $1 drafts in the Ashley View Pub. McDonald's is sponsoring Youth Baseball Night while Play It Again Sports Mt. Pleasant will be on-hand to collect used baseball equipment to donate to local charity Pass It Forward Sports. 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 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.