True to who they are, the Charleston RiverDogs cooked up a pretty unique promotion for a home game several nights ago.
Tuesday’s C Night came with free entry for anyone who showed up with a “C” on their report card.
In addition to grades, C Night celebrated the letter itself, from the RiverDogs sporting their alternate jerseys with a large letter “C” on the front, to food items at concessions that start with the letter.
But the main attraction was the ode to mediocrity. And it worked. C Night saw 2,641 fans walk through the turnstiles, the second-highest total for a Tuesday this season.
But while fans and RiverDogs’ brass were paying homage to the ordinary, the players on the field were anything but.
The RiverDogs belted two homers and 12 hits in front of the home crowd. They capped off the night by walking off with a 6-5 victory, thanks to a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth.
C Night wasn’t the only time this season the RiverDogs put forth an "A" effort.
The New York Yankees’ Class A affiliate has had some big games from players all over the roster.
Take last Sunday for example. Left fielder Canaan Smith hit for the cycle, meaning he posted a single, double, triple and home run all in one game.
The feat is as rare as it sounds. The last RiverDog to do it was Matt Quatraro on July 6, 1997. That was 663 days before Smith, 20, was born.
His night started with a double in the first, followed by a single in the third and a triple in the fourth.
His bat went silent in his fourth plate appearance, but Smith completed the mission in the eighth with a homer over the center field wall.
A few nights later, RiverDogs' magic struck again.
Twenty-four hours after mediocre report cards filled Riley Park, Charleston outfielder Josh Stowers swiped four bases against the West Virginia Power, the Sally League affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
Stowers’ final steal of the game helped lead to a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th, giving the RiverDogs consecutive victories in dramatic fashion.
And let’s not leave out the guy with the coolest name on the team: Josh Breaux (pronounced “bro”). Circling back to the last game of April, the Charleston catcher belted two homers in one game. He finished that week with two more long balls in three games.
Average means first
These and other heroics have elevated the RiverDogs to first place in the SAL Southern Division. And a quick look at the league-wide stats reveals why.
The RiverDogs’ 31 homers rank third in the entire SAL and first in their division. They also lead the Southern Division in runs, hits, batting average and RBIs,
On the mound, Charleston has given up the fewest homers in the division, and has struck out the most batters in the league.
In short, the RiverDogs have been the real deal through the first quarter of the season, especially this month having won 11 of their first 15 games.
Mediocrity was a fun gesture. But winning is the ultimate promotion.