SALISBURY, MD – Centerfielder Blake Rutherford went 3-for-4 with a double and the Charleston bullpen combined for four scoreless innings as the RiverDogs managed enough offense to take a 3-1 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds in game two on Friday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Rutherford swung at the first pitch he saw in the first inning to mash a double to left field to snap out of an 0-for-18 skid after Charleston (12-11) had already leapt out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Estevan Florial tripled to lead off the ballgame against Delmarva (11-12) lefty Zack Muckenhirn (1-2), scoring on the next play as third baseman Angel Aguilar stroked a first pitch single to left-center to make it 1-0 RiverDogs. After Aguilar swiped second and advanced on a Hoy Jun Park groundout, catcher Donny Sands doubled the advantage with an RBI groundout to short.
Phillip Diehl (3-0) turned in five strong innings to pick up the win in his first start of the year. The Louisiana Tech southpaw fanned five batters to just one walk, and allowed just a single run in the fourth inning when a leadoff single by Cole Billingsley scored on a sac fly by Chris Shaw.
David Sosebee took it three innings, striking out six batters and giving up just three baserunners (one walk, two hits). The former Georgia Bulldog has now struck out 21 hitters over his first 15.1 innings of the season.
Anyelo Gomez should have had a 1-2-3 ninth had it not been for a bloop double that landed between three RiverDogs defenders in left, but still picked up his fourth save of the year in as many opportunities with a scoreless ninth.
The RiverDogs outhit the Shorebirds, 12-6, but stranded 12 baserunners in the loss. Angel Aguilar extended his hitting streak to a RiverDogs season-high nine games, and has reached base safely in 14 straight dating back to April 10.
The RiverDogs prepare to take on the Shorebirds in a game three tilt on Saturday night on the Maryland coastline. The RiverDogs will send RHP Nick Green (1-3, 5.82) as Delmarva counters with RHP Matthias Dietz (0-1, 9.20) starting at 7:05pm from Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. The game will be broadcast on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area and online streaming at riverdogs.com and the TuneIn Radio app under the “Charleston RiverDogs” station. “Saturday Dog Talk” pregame coverage starts at 6:30pm. The RiverDogs return home for a weeklong homestand starting on Tuesday, May 2 at The Joe.
RiverDogs tickets, including options for the all-new Riley Park Club, are now available and can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area or by streaming online at riverdogs.com and the TuneIn Radio App by searching “RiverDogs.”