Two three-run innings and a 4-for-5 night by Jorge Mateo led the Charleston RiverDogs to a 6-1 win over the Asheville Tourists in the second game of the series Saturday in front of 5,073 fans at Riley Park.
The RiverDogs (34-35) were defeated, 6-4, in the first game of the series, but bounced quickly on Saturday with three runs in the first inning.
Mateo singled, stole second and moved to third on a hit by Dustin Fowler. Fowler attempted to steal second, drew a throw from catcher Dom Nunez, and Mateo stole home while Fowler was caught in a rundown.
After two straight strikeouts, Austin Aune blasted an RBI triple to deep center field. After a Vince Conde walk, Alexander Palma drove in the third run of the frame with a base hit to left field. Asheville starting pitcher Sam Howard (2-8) exited the game after facing eight men and only getting two outs in the first. Charleston sent all nine batters up to the plate in the big inning.
Charleston added insurance to its lead with another three-run inning in the fourth. Rainiero Coa tallied his first RBI as a RiverDog with a single to center that scored Bo Thompson, the second of four Charleston singles in a row. Mateo and Fowler both followed with base hits to plate Coa, then Mateo scored safely ahead of tag on a fielder’s choice at home.
Asheville (32-37) scored its lone run in the top of the eighth. Emerson Jimenez reached on a fielding error by the first baseman Thompson, stole second and crossed home after back-to-back groundouts. Forrest Wall drove in the run and leads the Tourists with 37 RBIs.
Matt Wotherspoon (2-0) went six scoreless innings, giving up four hits while striking out six batters. He earned his second win as a RiverDog and second against the Tourists as well. Joey Maher gave up an unearned run in the eighth and Philip Walby delivered a scoreless ninth in the win.
Fans came together once again and stood together in a moment of silence before the National Anthem in memory of those affected by Wednesday’s tragedy. Fans also joined together in singing God Bless American during the seventh-inning stretch. Saturday was the first night of Larry Doby Heritage Weekend. The 1955 Cannon Street All-Star team, Kaitlyn Tucker — who received Lawrence A. Holt Scholarship — and Reverend Theodore Radford Lewis Jr., who received the 2015 RiverDogs Humanitarian Award, were all honored with a pregame ceremony on the field. The RiverDogs also be hosted a book release with “A Backpack Journalist.” The group, made up of local school children, wrote and published a book on Larry Doby, Mike Veeck and the Charleston RiverDogs. Dr. W. Franklin Evans, the president of South Carolina State University, joined Dan Acheson for an inning on the radio broadcast. The Burke High School Boy’s State Champion Basketball Team was honored in-between innings and drew a rousing ovation from the crowd and RiverDogs players.
The RiverDogs conlcude their three-game series and first half of the season with the Asheville Tourists on Sunday at 2 p.m. Charleston will send LHP Rony Bautista (3-1, 3.38 ERA) to the mound to face LHP Helmis Rodriguez (5-3, 3.28) for the Tourists. You can watch the game on milb.tv or listen to the action on WTMA 1250-AM, WTMA.com and RiverDogs.com.
Larry Doby Heritage Weekend continues on Father’s Day. In honor of the Negro Leagues, both the RiverDogs and Tourists will wear throwback uniforms of the Homestead Grays and the Newark Eagles. Former Negro Leaguer Clifford Layton will also be on hand for a special pregame recognition and to meet fans on the concourse.
Every Sunday at The Joe is a Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission Kids Club Sunday. Parking is free, and kids 12-under eat free. They will receive a coupon for a hot dog, fountain drink and chips. All members of the RiverDogs Kids Club receive free admission to every Family Sunday Game. The RiverDogs Kids Club, known as the RiverPups, is free to join and open to all kids 12-and-under. Stick around after the game to receive free autographs on the field from all of your favorite RiverDogs players and coaches.