Andrew Brackman has been a hard-luck pitcher for the Charleston RiverDogs this season, but maybe his luck is starting to turn.
Brackman, who was 0-4 in eight starts, got on the winning track in start No. 9 Thursday night at Riley Park, pitching eight innings, allowing one run on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts in the RiverDogs' 9-1 South Atlantic League victory over Lexington.
"It felt good," said Brackman, who didn't allow an extra-base hit in picking up his first career victory. "I've been pitching pretty well lately, and now I've got something to show for it. I can call my dad tonight and tell him I got my first one."
For Brackman, a first-round draft choice of the Yankees in 2007 who missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, it seems like the first victory has been a long time coming.
"It's hard to come back from that surgery, it really is," Brackman said. "I've just kept working and working. Hopefully things will just keep on getting better from here."
Charleston led 2-1 after three innings after Dan Brewer's RBI single in the first and back-to-back doubles from Mitch Abeita and Abraham Almonte that produced a run in the third.
The RiverDogs proceeded to pour it on, thanks to Melky Mesa's two-out, two-run homer in the fifth and Corban Joseph's two-run triple in the seventh. It was the SAL-leading 10th homer of the season for Mesa, who is on a 12-game hitting streak.
The Drake School of Irish Dance performed in the pre-game festivities on "Irish Night," which by happy coincidence was also "Thirsty Thursday." The Irish National Anthem was sung before the game, a leprechaun threw out the first pitch and RiverDogs announcer Ken Carrington was attired in green shirt and tartan kilt. Carrington also played "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" on the bagpipes during the seventh-inning stretch. In addition, green $1 draft beer was available in the Ashley Pub.
Charleston and Lexington play again at 7:05 tonight at Riley Park. Manny Banuelos (1-1, 3.38 ERA) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Charleston, while Robert Bono (4-1, 2.08 ERA) is expected to start for Lexington. A multitude of promotions are planned for tonight's game, including $1 off admission for anyone wearing red. There will be a fireworks display at game's end.