HICKORY, N.C. — The Charleston RiverDogs were trailing the Hickory Crawdads early, but solo home runs by Austin Aune and Dustin Fowler in the fourth and fifth innings lifted the RiverDogs to a 4-3 victory in the series finale Thursday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Charleston (29-31) started the game strong with two runs in the top of the first. Jorge Mateo led off the game with a triple and Fowler drove him in with a base hit. Fowler stole second base and scored on a one-out double by Juan Graterol.
Hickory (38-21) responded quickly, cutting the RiverDogs’ lead in half in the bottom of the frame. A two-out double by Jose Trevino plated Josh Morgan to make it 2-1; it was Trevino’s fifth RBI of the series.
The Crawdads came back to take the lead in the second. With runners on second and third with one out, Jose Cardona ripped a ground ball off the glove of the third baseman Ryan Lindemuth into left field to bring home Rock Shoulders and Carlos Arroyo.
Aune’s home run tied the game 3-3 in the fourth and Fowler’s blast gave the RiverDogs a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth. After a brief, 29-minute rain delay, Matt Marsh (1-0) entered the game to replace Rony Bautista and shut out the Crawdads for the final five innings to earn his first win as a RiverDog. Charleston defeated Hickory’s starting pitcher Collin Wiles (6-3) for the second time, his only two losses as a starter this season.
With the victory, the RiverDogs snap their three-game losing streak and head to Asheville for the second of three series against the Tourists this month. Vince Conde’s hitting streak came to an end at 12 games, as he went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s game.
The RiverDogs begin a four-game series with the Asheville Tourists at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Charleston will send LHP Justin Kamplain (1-7, 4.27 ERA) to the mound against RHP Ryan Castellani (0-4, 3.00 ERA) for the Tourists.