ROME, GA. — Charleston starter Evan Rutckyj held the Rome offense to just one run in six innings as the RiverDogs edged the Braves, 4-2, Thursday night at State Mutual Stadium.
The RiverDogs improved to 40-29 overall and 1-0 in the second half, while Rome fell to 36-34, 0-1.
Charleston starter Evan Rutckyj (7-4) earned his team- leading seventh win after going six strong innings, during which he allowed one run on seven hits while striking out six.
Rutckyj was relieved by Derek Varnadore, who pitched a scoreless seventh. Phil Wetherell came in to relieve Varnadore to start the eighth and pitched the rest of the way for the RiverDogs to earn his second save.
Charleston got on the board early, thanks to a leadoff walk by Jake Cave in the first inning to get things started. Cave stole second and came around to score two batters later when Greg Bird doubled him in for the early 1-0 lead. Charleston struck again in the second inning when Danny Oh drove in Kelvin De Leon, who had singled, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball.
The RiverDogs’ final two runs came in the seventh, in which the RiverDogs sent seven men to the plate on four hits.
Bird and Oh finished with two RBIs apiece, knocking in all of the runs for Charleston. Oh and Kelvin De Leon both finished 2-for-4 at the plate.
Rome starter Wes Parsons (2-4) took the hard luck loss as he looked almost as good as Evan Rutckyj on the mound. He went five innings and allowed two runs, one earned on just two hits and struckout seven. Parsons was relieved to start the sixth by Zach Jadofsky who struggled on the rubber. He went 1.2 innings and allowed two runs on three hits but struckout three. Eric Pfisterer relieved Jadofsky and went 1.1 innings and just allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout. Bryam Garcia came in for the ninth and tossed a perfect inning in relief.
Offensively for the Braves, they were held to just a pair of runs which came across in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Casey Kalenkosky and in the bottom of the ninth on another RBI double. With an out and a runner at first Ronald Luna came to the plate and doubled to center to score Carlos Franco all the way from first. Casey Kalenkosy and Chase Anselment were the only two Braves players to record multiple hits in Thursday’s game.
Game two of this four game series against the Braves is scheduled for 7pm Friday at State Mutual Stadium in Rome, Georgia. Charleston sends RHP Vicente Campos (1-2, 4.70 ERA) to the mound as Rome counters with fellow RHP Frank LaFreniere (3-5, 5.48 ERA).