The Charleston RiverDogs snapped a two game losing streak in a wild affair against the Columbia Fireflies Monday night at Joe Riley Park. The RiverDogs would defeat the Flies 5-4 on a walk off strikeout in the tenth inning.
Columbia jumped out in front in the first inning off RiverDogs starter Adonis Rosa. Andres Gimenez led the game off with a single to center field. After J.J. Franco flew out to right, Jacob Zanon ripped a triple into the right field corner to score Gimenez. On the play, Hoy Park skipped a ball into the stands trying to get Gimenez out at third. Gimenez would be awarded home to make it 2-0 Columbia.
The RiverDogs would fight back with three in the second off Columbia starter Marty Anderson. Carlos Vidal dropped down a perfect bunt toward first base for a hit. Vince Conde laid down his own bunt to advance Vidal to second. A wild pitch would get Vidal to third and Pablo Olivares would hit a sac fly to left field to make it 2-1. Chris Hess singled to left field to bring up Hoy Park. Park would hit a line drive home run over the right field wall to give the RiverDogs a 3-2 lead.
The RiverDogs would threaten to break the game open in the fifth. Diego Castillo and Donny Sands would walk to start the inning off against Anderson. Anderson then plunked Isiah Gilliam to load the bases with nobody out. The Fireflies summoned Keaton Aldridge out of the bullpen. Aldridge induced Oswaldo Cabrera to ground into a 4-6-3 double play allowing Castillo to score to make it 4-2 RiverDogs. Aldridge would minimize the damage though as he got Vidal to pop out to second base to end the threat.
Columbia knotted the game in the eighth when Arnoldo Berrios singled to right field off Dogs reliever Christian Morris. Gimenez tripled to the right center field gap to plate Berrios and make it 4-3. Morris walked Franco and he was then pulled by RiverDogs manager Patrick Osborn in favor of David Sosebee. Sosebee would walk Zanon to bring up Rizzie with the bases loaded and nobody out. Dan Rizzie singled up the middle to drive in Gimenez and tie the game at four. Sosebee would work out of further trouble by striking out Brandon Brosher. Sosebee would get Luis Carpio to hit a soft fly ball to Vince Conde in foul territory for the second out and then struck out Colby Woodmansee to extinguish the threat.
The game would remain that way until the tenth. Park led off the inning and worked his way back from an 0-2 count to earn a walk. Castillo would lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance Park to second. Sands would strike out on a pitch that catcher Dan Rizzie could not handle. Sands hustles down to first and Rizzie threw the ball wide of first base that got far enough away from Brosher allowing Park to get home for the walk off run and a final score of 5-4. Park would end up going 2-for-4 with a home run, scoring two runs and driving in two runs.
“After the first inning, (Rosa) cruised. A game like this, you get a sense that the four runs we had weren’t going to be enough. We pitched well, we made some plays behind our pitching to eliminate some chances, but I knew we were going to need more than four and we got it in the tenth inning,” Osborn said. “We don’t win the game without that performance out of Sose. He’s been our stopper there in the back and he did a heck of a job.”
As far as the crazy last play of the game, Osborn said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. This sport is so weird, you never know what you’re going to see.” As a result of the play, Luis Cedeno (W, 4-0) earned the win as he pitched a scoreless tenth.
Estevan Florial, who was the subject of many trade rumors, sat out tonight’s game and had this to say about his name being bandied about, “It’s something I really try not to think about. I try to stay away from that. I can’t control that. The only thing that I can do is do my best in the field.”
With the win, the RiverDogs improve to 24-12 in the second half race and 58-48 overall. They remain in first place with a three and a half game lead on Asheville. Columbia drops to 55-49 and 15-21 on the second half.