It was a wild, wacky ride for the Charleston RiverDogs on Wednesday afternoon. After seeing a 2-0 lead disappear, thinking they had walked off in the ninth and watching a raccoon run loose in the visitor dugout, it was Mandy Alvarez’s 10th-inning double that lifted the RiverDogs, 3-2, over the Rome Braves in front of 4,712 at Riley Park.
Alvarez recorded his 10th RBI in eight games and extended his hitting streak to 18 games. The Yankees’ 17th-round pick this in June out of Eastern Kentucky has reached base in his first 21 games as a professional.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the RiverDogs (51-37, 9-10) momentarily thought that they had walked off, but were forced to save the celebrations for an inning. With two outs, Charleston center fielder Cesar Diaz hustled out an infield single and stole second. Hoy Jun Park reached for the fourth time with a walk on a wild pitch that allowed Diaz to move into third and put runners at the corners.
With Corbin Clouse on the mound, a flinching motion by Diaz at third caused the Braves (36-53, 9-11) lefty to lift his back foot off the rubber and a balk was called. As Diaz trotted home on the presumed winner, home plate umpire David Martinez reversed his call, indicating that time had simply been called and the at-bat continued. Clouse struck out RiverDogs second baseman Gosuke Katoh to force the extra inning.
After Carroll posted a scoreless top of the 10th, the game took another wild twist. A pair of raccoons found their way into the dugout and delayed the game for nearly 10 minutes, before the critters were rounded up and safely released outside the ballpark. Jeff Hendrix draw a walk after the delay before Alvarez smashed a double to left to lift the RiverDogs to victory.
RiverDogs fans beat the heat on Big Splash Day at the ballpark where Riley Park became a water park for the day with super soakers and water balloons in abundance.
The RiverDogs host the Braves in the series finale on a Thirsty Thursday at 7:05 p.m. The RiverDogs will send RHP Christian Morris (5-2, 2.60), while the Braves trot out RHP Mike Soroka (2-7, 2.93).