Sweeney’s slam fuels RiverDogs in rout

Charleston first baseman Kane Sweeney hit his first two professional home runs, including a first-inning grand slam, as the RiverDogs routed the Hagerstown Suns, 10-2, in South Atlantic League baseball Tuesday morning at Municipal Stadium.

Waking up early for a 10:35 a.m. first pitch, the RiverDogs (56-45 overall, 14-17 second half) took control quickly, tying a season high with four home runs. Cesar Diaz led off with a single, and after consecutive walks to Hoy Jun Park and Chris Gittens, Sweeney cleared the bases with his slam.

Sweeney, who finished 3 for 5, made it 5-0 with a solo homer in the third inning.

In the fourth inning, an errant throw on a stolen base by Diaz allowed Audie Afenir to score, and a sacrifice fly by Park scored Diaz to make it 7-0.

Solo home runs by Park and Jhalan Jackson, who had a 425-foot blast to center field, in the seventh made it 10-0. Jackson finished 3 for 5 with two doubles, while the homer was his ninth of the season.

Daris Vargas (7-5) went six innings to pick up the win. The Dominican righty yielded just three hits with a walk and two strikeouts for Charleston.

Hagerstown (62-40, 19-13) scored its only runs on a two-run homer by Adderling Ruiz off Justin Kamplain in the seventh. The RiverDogs’ Greg Weissert logged two scoreless innings out of the bullpen to close out the victory.

With the win, the RiverDogs salvage a series split with the North Division first half champs and finish the weeklong road trip by going 3-4.

After an off day Wednesday, the RiverDogs start a four-game homestand against the Lexington Legends, the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Riley Park. The RiverDogs will send RHP Luis Cedeno (5-5, 4.02 ERA) with the Legends starter to be announced. It will be a Thirsty Thursday as the RiverDogs host Pokemon Go Night at Riley Park.

For ticket information, call 843-577-3647 or go online at riverdogs.com. Listen to game at WTMA 1250-AM or streaming online at riverdogs.com.