Lopez’s long ball dooms RiverDogs

Justin Kamplain pitched six innings of one-run ball, but the normally-sturdy bullpen gave up a three-run homer in the seventh and the RiverDogs could not bounce back, falling 4-2 to the Greenville Drive Thursday night in front of 7,005 fans at Joe Riley Park. The attendance marked the second-largest crowd at The Joe this season.

The RiverDogs led 2-1 heading into the seventh inning before the Drive rallied to take the lead for good. Sean Carley relieved the starter Kamplain and put two on with one in front of the Drive’s number nine hitter, second baseman Deiner Lopez. The lefty hooked a three-run home run down the right-field line and put Greenville up for good 4-2.

Charleston (19-14) loaded the bases with one out against Jamie Callahan in the bottom of the frame but could not score. Callahan and Kuehl McEachern combined to throw three scoreless innings and polished of the RiverDogs.

Greenville (18-15) jumped out to the early 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Kamplain’s college catcher Ben Moore. After that the lefty settled in and scattered three other hits over the next five frames.

Charleston bounced back to tie the game in the second on an RBI single by Ryan Lindemuth in his first home at-bat of the season. In the sixth, Jorge Mateo walked with one out, stole second, stole third and scored on an errant throw by catcher Jordan Procyshen, giving the RiverDogs their first and only lead of the game.

Carley (0-1) took the loss on the hill with his two innings of work. Dedger Jimenez (2-1) brought home the win as he matched Kamplain with six innings, he was the benefactor of the Lopez homer as it put him in line for the win. McEachern earned his fourth save of the season.

It was Military Appreciation Night at The Joe and the RiverDogs honored the military wives at the ballgame. Wives from four branches of the military squared off in a round-robin tournament of tug-of-war, which the U.S. Air Forces wives won.

The RiverDogs and Drive get ready for game two of the four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday at The Joe. RHP David Palladino (1-1, 3.32) gets the nod for the RiverDogs and will throw against LHP Jalen Beeks (2-1, 4.26) of the Drive.