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The Charleston RiverDogs open a four-game homestand against the Columbia Fireflies on Thursday. File/Andrew Whitaker/Staff

The Charleston RiverDogs are offering fans a chance to skip the traffic caused by the closure of the James B. Edwards Bridge on I-526. Starting on Thursday, and continuing for all weekday home games until the bridge reopens, the RiverDogs will open their gates at precisely 5:26 p.m., 34 minutes earlier than normal.

"Opening our gates at 5:26 will allow our fans to come straight to the ballpark from work, rather than have to go home and risk getting caught up in traffic," RiverDogs president and general manager Dave Echols said. "We figure fans would rather be out at the ballpark enjoying a $1 beer than sitting in their cars."

RiverDogs vs. Fireflies

The hottest bat in the South Atlantic League belongs to a  RiverDog and will be on display when Charleston opens its four-game homestand Thursday.

The New York Yankees’ low level Single A affiliate will face the Columbia Fireflies, an affiliate of the New York Mets. It’s South Carolina’s version of the Big Apple rivalry.

Thursday’s game starts at 7:05 p.m.

Dom Thompson-Williams, the former South Carolina slugger,  has homered five times in three games for the RiverDogs. His first two of the season came Sunday against the Hagerstown Suns, the South Atlantic League affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

And in a Monday double-header, the centerfielder homered twice in the first game and once in the nightcap. Through nine games, he’s batting .394 with five homers and nine RBIs.

Unfortunately, Thompson-Williams has been one of the only bright spots for Charleston lately. The team lost both games of that double-header and six of its last seven.

The good news for the RiverDogs? They’ve had Columbia’s number so far this year. Charleston has won three of four games against the Fireflies this season.

Fireworks and Star Wars

What would Riley Park be without promotions? Thirsty Thursday at The Joe will include $1 beers, and Friday’s Tech Night will feature a fireworks show.

Veterans will be honored on Saturday’s Military Night. And of course, the force will be with everyone on Sunday for Star Wars Night. Don't be surprised if Han Solo makes an appearance during the seventh inning stretch.

Reach Derrek Asberry at 843-937-5517. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry