Gates’ walkoff single lifts R’Dogs

Aaron Gates’ RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Charleston RiverDogs a 2-1 victory over the Hickory Crawdads on Saturday night in South Atlantic League baseball at Riley Park in front of 3,217 fans.

Offensively, it was a slow night as Hickory starting pitcher C.J. Edwards and RiverDogs starter Cesar Vargas stayed in control.

Charleston (5-5 second half, 44-34 overall) struck first in the bottom of the fifth inning after Jake Cave tripled and scored on a one-out double by Cito Culver. The Crawdads (6-4, 45-35) tied it at 1 in the sixth on an RBI double by Ronald Guzman.

The score remained deadlocked until the ninth. With runners on first and second and two outs, Gates ripped the game-winning single off the right field wall to score Danny Oh, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.

Charleston’s Ben Paullus (4-2) gave up no hits in two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

The final game of this four-game series against the Hickory Crawdads is 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Left-hander Evan Rutckyj (3-1, 1.05 ERA) will start for Charleston against left-hander Luis Parra (3-1, 1.05).