Freicer Perez went six strong innings and Estevan Florial went 3-for-3 to propel the Charleston RiverDogs past the West Virginia Power by the score of 5-2. The RiverDogs won their second straight game after losing six straight.
Perez (W, 2-3) allowed just four hits while striking out six Power hitters to earn the win. “He was pretty dominant other than the two runs in the third. He kind of controlled things throughout the outing. Pounded the strike zone with all his pitches. When he does that, it’s going to be a tough night for the opposition. It’s nice to see that he’s starting to string together some quality starts together,” RiverDogs manager Pat Osborn said.
Phillip Diehl pitched the final three innings of the game to earn his first save of the year. After starting in Columbia Friday night, Diehl has been moved back into the pen. “A guy like that, you put him in the bullpen, his stuff kind of jumps up a bit in terms of his velocity, his breaking becomes a little sharper because he’s throwing in short outings. He doesn’t have to save his bullets. Phillip did a nice job out of the pen and looked really good,” Osborn said.
The RiverDogs jumped out to an early lead in the first off Power starter Cam Vieaux (L, 2-3). Estevan Florial doubled with two outs and was brought home when Angel Aguilar singled to right field for a 1-0 lead.
West Virginia would strike back to take the lead in the third off Perez when the Power mounted a 2-out rally. Perez issued a walk to Ty Moore and then gave up a double to Albert Baur to place runners at second and third. Hunter Owen then singled to right field to drive in Moore and Baur to give the Power a 2-1 lead.
The RiverDogs would score single runs in the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth to build a 5-2 lead. In the fourth, Florial led off with a double and would come around to score on Ben Ruta‘s single up the middle to give the Dogs a 3-2 lead after four. In the fifth, Isiah Gilliam would bring home Diego Castillo on a sacrifice fly to left field. Castillo had led off the inning with a single. In the seventh, Florial earned an infield single off third baseman Owen’s glove. He then stole second to put himself into scoring position for Angel Aguilar’s RBI double to left-center field and a 4-2 lead. The Dogs would push the final run across in the eighth, when Eduardo Navas hit a ball to Owen who fired the ball into the stands scoring Ben Ruta from second to make it 5-2. Ruta had walked to lead off the inning and stole second before the error.
With his hit three hits tonight, Florial raised his average over the .300 mark on the season to .302. He scored two runs while stealing his twelfth stolen base of the year. “Flo’s a special talent. He’s starting to put it together. Really good bats tonight against a left-handed pitcher. People need to realize they’re watching a future all-star. That’s the type of ability he has,” Osborn said.
The RiverDogs have taken the first two games of the three game set against the Power. The two teams play in the series finales with the Dogs going for the sweep Thursday night at 7:05 PM at Joe Riley Park.