Lail leads way for R'Dogs

Brady Lail won his fifth consecutive start, tying a record for Charleston RiverDogs pitchers as a New York Yankees affiliate, and he recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts in a 4-2 RiverDogs win over the Hickory Crawdads in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

Hickory won the second game, 3-0, to close the twinbill, which was played in front of 5,608 fans at Riley Park in South Atlantic League action.

Lail joined Rafael De Paula and current Minnesota Twin Phil Hughes as the only pitchers to win five straight RiverDogs appearances since Charleston became a Yankees affiliate in 2005. He is now tied with Hagerstown's Nick Pivetta for a league-best six victories.

Charleston (21-19) and Hickory (18-22) exchanged runs to start the scoring in the opener.

On the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning, Jose Rosario hit his first home run of the season to give Charleston a 1-0 lead.

In the second inning, Hickory tied the contest when former Citadel catcher Joe Jackson got into a rundown that scored Travis Demeritte from third base.

Three RiverDogs put Charleston back in front in the bottom of the second inning.

Brandon Thomas' first-pitch home run gave the RiverDogs a 2-1 advantage. Charleston added another run when John Murphy scored on a single by Rosario. Gosuke Katoh moved to third on that hit and came in during Michael O'Neill's groundout to shortstop, giving the RiverDogs a 4-1 lead.

Hickory scored a quick run in the third inning before Lail shut down the Crawdads. Evan Van Hoosier hit a leadoff triple and scored on a throwing error to cut the difference to 4-2.

Lail (6-1) retired his final 12 batters, striking out the side during the fourth and sixth innings.

Chris Smith followed Lail with a scoreless seventh inning to finish the contest and earn his first save.

Frank Lopez dropped to 3-2 after a complete game loss.

Logan Haymaker represented ISHPI and Friday's honorary military family of the game for a ceremonial first pitch, but he was pleasantly interrupted by the return of his brother, Specialist Lance Haymaker, who surprised Logan with his arrival from a military assignment in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

After Friday's doubleheader, the RiverDogs will embark on an eight-game road stretch.

Charleston will play at Savannah on Saturday at 6:05 p.m., with RHP Jaron Long (2-1, 2.59 ERA) opening up against Sand Gnats RHP Robert Gsellman (2-2, 1.48 ERA).

After the road stretch, the RiverDogs will open an eight-game homestand.