With an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, Jhalan Jackson broke up a 4-4 tie to lift the Charleston RiverDogs over the Augusta GreenJackets in walk-off fashion on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 4,979 at Riley Park. The base hit gave the RiverDogs a 5-4 win and a sweep of the evening’s doubleheader after playing out the final six innings in a 5-2 victory over Augusta in the conclusion of the suspended game from Friday night.
The RiverDogs (12-5) remain atop the Southern Division standings, two games up on their closest pursuer.
To begin the evening’s doubleheader, Charleston and Augusta picked up where they left off in the top of the fourth inning from the suspended game on Friday night.
Still scoreless after 5½ innings were completed, including three from the night before, the RiverDogs offense awoke in the sixth to the tune of a four-run, three-hit frame. Drew Bridges singled and was sacrificed over by Angel Aguilar before RiverDogs catcher Eduardo Navas reached on a hit by pitch. Jeff Hendrix stroked a single to right to drive in his first run of the season. After Hoy Jun Park walked, outfielder Trey Amburgey grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed Navas to score. On the next play, Amburgey took off for second and GreenJackets catcher Zack Bowers skipped a throw into center field, allowing Hendrix to score. Amburgey would find his way home on a wild pitch that hopped away from Bowers to make it 4-0 Charleston.
The GreenJackets answered back with two runs of their own in the seventh on an RBI double by Bowers, but the RiverDogs staved off the rally with a run-scoring single by Navas in the seventh to push the lead to 5-2.
After the RiverDogs received three scoreless innings from their ace Domingo Acevedo the night before, fellow Dominican Daris Vargas (1-0) was handed the ball to start the fourth inning on Saturday night. The righty logged 32/3 innings in relief, allowing two runs with three strikeouts and one walk issued to pick up his first win of the season.
Anyelo Gomez got the nod in the second ballgame of the night for Charleston, and had his strikeout stuff going from the start. The Dominican Republic native struck out the side in the first and third, but in the second inning left a mistake over the plate that GreenJackets third baseman Kelvin Beltre hammered over the left-center wall for his second of the season.
Charleston answered back with a two-run shot of its own in the second off the bat of Connor Spencer, the first of the season for the RiverDogs first baseman, that tied the game up at 2. Following Spencer’s blast to left-center, Radley Haddad singled to right before Hendrix was hit by a pitch to put more activity on the base paths for the RiverDogs. Back-to-back RBI knocks by Park and Thairo Estrada gave the RiverDogs a 4-2 advantage.
After falling behind for the first time in the seven-inning contest, the GreenJackets’ bats didn’t take long to answer back with two runs to tie the game at 4 in the top of the sixth. Seth Harrison crushed a solo home run for his first of the season, the second allowed by Gomez, to lead off the frame. After a flyout to right by Dillon Dobson, Gomez exited after a season-high 51/3 innings while striking out a career-high 11. Gomez had only allowed one home run in 113 career minor league innings before the two long balls given up to Augusta. The RiverDogs closer, Andrew Schwaab (3-0), next entered the ballgame to record the final five outs. On the first pitch he saw from the righty, Dylan Davis took one over the left field wall for the second solo homer of the inning, and third round tripper of the night, for Augusta.
After stranding a pair in the sixth, the RiverDogs turned to late inning heroics once again. Park stroked a single to left to lead off the frame and Estrada’s ground ball back up the middle squeaked through for a base hit that put runners at the corners. After an intentional walk to Chris Gittens, Jackson turned on a fastball to left field for his second walk-off hit of the season, the fourth walk-off victory for Charleston.
RiverDogs fans were treated with a doubleheader of fun at The Joe on Saturday night, enjoying a 1,000 T-shirt toss at the conclusion of Game One with giveaway items soaring through the air in all different directions. Postgame fireworks presented by Home Telecom also featured after Game Two after being pushed back from Friday night’s game suspended due to rain.
The RiverDogs will wrap up their four-game series with GreenJackets on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. The RiverDogs will roll out LHP Josh Rogers (2-1, 1.45 ERA) while the GreenJackets will counter with LHP Mac Marshall (0-0, 4.32). It will be the second Holy City Sunday of the season where the RiverDogs will don specialty uniforms with the “Holy City” namesake proudly displayed on the front of their pinstriped tops with the brand new HC emblem adorned on their caps.
Fans that can’t make it out to the ballpark can tune in on WTMA 1250-AM in the tri-county area as well as online at riverdogs.com. Ticket information for any of the RiverDogs remaining home games this season may be secured by contacting the box office at 843-577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.