Charleston and Hagerstown Combine for Season-High 24 runs in slugfest in Maryland
HAGERSTOWN, MD – Facing the Northern Division first half champs, the Charleston RiverDogs expected a high-scoring affair, but maybe not the extent the series opener would bring. The RiverDogs and the Suns combined for a season-high 24 runs and 26 total hits as Charleston saw their early lead shrink to one before hanging on to win, 14-10, over Hagerstown in Saturday’s series opener at Municipal Stadium.
RiverDogs right fielder Alex Palma went 4-for-5, reached safely in all five trips to the plate, and collected his second four RBI night in the last three games to lead the offensive charge. First baseman Kane Sweeney went 3-for-4 driving in three, and Ricardo Ferreira homered while driving in four from the leadoff spot.
Charleston (55-42, 13-15) struck early in the first inning, taking advantage of shaky command by Hagerstown ace Pedro Avila (7-7) in the top of the first. The Venezuelan righty walked three batters to load up the bases with one out before Palma wiped the bases clean with a double to the left field corner to make it 3-0 Charleston.
In the second, RiverDogs second baseman Chris Godinez led off the inning with a double before Cesar Diaz walked and Ferreira doubled Charleston’s lead with a three-run blast to right, his first of the season, to make it a 6-0 ballgame.
In the fourth, the RiverDogs made it 7-0 on consecutive doubles by Mandy Alvarez and Sweeney.
RiverDogs righty Anyelo Gomez (3-1) was perfect through the first three innings before giving up a solo shot to center fielder Randy Encarnacion. The homer would the first of a five-hit, three-run inning that cut the RiverDogs’ lead to four at 7-3.
Charleston built their lead up to as much as eight in the top of the fifth inning on run scoring doubles by Sweeney and Palma, but it would shrink to one. In the home half, Hagerstown (60-39,17-12) sent 11 men to the plate, scoring seven runs on five hits to make it a one run ballgame, pushing the score to 11-10.
Charleston got their much needed insurance in the eighth after loading up the bases with nobody out on an error by Jorge Pantoja. RiverDogs catcher Audie Afenir drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to right before Godinez and Cesar Diaz added RBI knocks from the bottom of the order to push their lead to 14-10.
The RiverDogs continue the four-game series with the Hagerstown Suns, the Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, at Municipal Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The RiverDogs will send RHP Adonis Rosa (NR, -.–) in game two with the Suns rolling out Big Leaguer Joe Ross on rehab assignment. Charleston returns to The Joe for a four-game homestand from July 28-31against Lexington.
Ticket information for the RiverDogs homestand and any of the remaining home games can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Tickets for Game Two of the SAL Divisional Series on Friday, September, 9 at 7:05pm are now available. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at riverdogs.com.