A three-run bottom of the fifth inning propelled the Charleston RiverDogs, draped in their special “Green Army Men” jerseys, to a 7-4 victory over the Kannapolis Intimidators in front of 5,096 fans Saturday on ISHPI Military Appreciation Night at Joe Riley Park.
The game was tied 2-2 with runners on second and third when Jorge Mateo stepped up to bat with one out. He hit an 0-2 ground ball into center to drive in Alexander Palma and Angel Aguilar. However, the ball rolled under the glove of the center fielder Louie Lechich, and Mateo flew around the bases to give the RiverDogs a 5-2 lead, thanks to the three-base fielding error.
Kannapolis closed the gap with two runs in the top of the seventh. Ethan Gross hit an RBI infield single, and then Eddy Alvarez followed with a double to plate Gross.
Charleston took its three-run lead back in the bottom half of the frame. Ryan Lindemuth and Mateo drew back-to-back one-out walks. Bo Thompson then hit a single to left field that drove in both runs. Thompson reached second on a throwing error but was thrown out at third to clear the bases.
The RiverDogs got on the board with a run in the bottom of the first. Mateo scored the first of his three runs on an RBI groundout by Isaias Tejeda. Kannapolis tied the game 1-1 on a Nick Basto double and Ryan Leonards RBI single to start the second.
After a scoreless third, the RiverDogs jumped ahead again the bottom of the fourth. Collin Slaybaugh hit a one-out single and stole second. Austin Aune drove Slaybaugh in on a single to right, but Aune was thrown out at second to end the inning.
Kannapolis tied the game once again in the top of the fifth. Eddy Alverez hit a one-out double and Mason Robbins followed with an RBI single.
Justin Kamplain (3-10) pitched six innings and only allowed a pair of runs, one earned, while striking out five. He picked up his first victory as a starter since a win over Lexington on April 11. Zach Thompson (2-4) gave up five runs, two earned, on five hits and walked four in the loss.
Caleb Frare shut the door on the Intimidators and earned his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth. He worked around a one-out walk to Ryan Plourde and promptly picked him off.
The RiverDogs celebrated Military Appreciation Night at The Joe. The RiverDogs wore special “Green Army Man” uniforms, and the jerseys were auctioned off to fans.
The RiverDogs wrap up their five-game home series against Kannapolis at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Charleston will send RHP Matt Wotherspoon (2-0, 3.08 ERA) to the mound against RHP Spencer Adams (5-4, 3.58 ERA) for the Intimidators.