Charleston was holding on to a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when Dustin Fowler blasted a grand slam over the right-field fence to lift the RiverDogs to a 7-2 victory over the Hickory Crawdads on Monday night in front of 3,151 fans at Riley Park.
Charleston (16-9) led 1-0 in the top of the fifth, but then Hickory’s offense came to life as the Crawdads (16-8) took their first lead at 2-1.
The RiverDogs drew four walks in the bottom of the frame. Angel Aguilar scored on a Devyn Bolasky groundout and Connor Spencer scored on a wild pitch to give Charleston a 3-2 lead.
Hickory’s Jose Trevino reached third base in the top of the eighth via a leadoff double and wild pitch, but Cale Coshow struck out the side to preserve the lead.
After Fowler’s eighth-inning grand slam, Coshow finished out the game without allowing a run to earn his South Atlantic League-leading seventh save of the season. Andre Del Bosque (2-0) earned the win in relief for Charleston, while David Perez (0-1) took the loss for Hickory.
Fowler’s slam was the first of the season for Charleston and the first since Kale Sumner’s on August 16, 2014 against the Rome Braves at The Joe.
The game finished with just one umpire as the original home plate umpire was hit by a wild pitch on top of the head and could not finish the game.
In honor of Monday Night Baseball, the RiverDogs entered the stadium through an inflatable Charlie T. RiverDog and a machine blasted smoke into the air as the starters jogged out to their positions.
The RiverDogs have an off day Tuesday as they travel to Lexington for a three-game series with the Legends starting Wednesday. Charleston will send RHP Luis Cedeno (2-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound for the opener.
The Legends have yet to name a starter.