RiverDogs rally past Sand Gnats

The Charleston RiverDogs were trailing 4-0 after three innings, but rallied back to score six runs over four straight innings, and held on in the ninth for a 6-5 victory over the Sand Gnats on Saturday night at Joe Riley Park.

Savannah led 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth, but Austin Aune’s leadoff double to right field started a major RiverDogs (12-5) rally. Aune moved to third base on a wild pitch and scored on Jose Javier’s groundout to second. Then, Devyn Bolasky and Abiatal Avelino hit back-to-back singles. Two batters later, an error by third baseman Pedro Perez cost Savannah two more runs as Avelino came home to score from second.

In the sixth, Aune hit his second double of the game, which drove in Alvaro Noriega to tie the game at 5-5. The following inning, the RiverDogs took the lead for good when Dustin Fowler ripped a single to right-center field and plated Avelino.

Savannah (5-11) scored four of its five runs in the third inning, highlighted by a two-run John Mora triple, to jump out to an early 4-0 lead, keeping the 3,852 in attendance quiet before the RiverDogs’ comeback.

Cale Coshow shut the door on the Gnats for the second time this series. Savannah put two runners on third base in the inning but could not drive them in, leaving the tying run stranded 90 feet away from home twice. Coshow worked out of the jam to retire the side and earn his South Atlantic League-leading fifth save of the season.

Caleb Frare (2-1) earned the win with 1.1 scoreless innings, while Savannah starter Josh Prevost (0-3) lost his second straight start to Charleston.

The Joe turned into “Toon Town” as several members of the Looney Toons joined Charlie, Chelsea and Bark. Bugs Bunny threw out the first pitch and greeted fans along with Daffy Duck. Clips from the movie “Space Jam” played on the video board before the game.

The RiverDogs and Sand Gnats square off in the series finale at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. The RiverDogs are slated to throw LHP Justin Kamplain (1-1, 3.60), while the Sand Gnats will counter with RHP Martires Arias (1-0, 3.60).