CHARLESTON — Behind Steven Sensley‘s offensive outburst, the Charleston RiverDogs defeated the Greenville Drive 12-4 Saturday night at Joe Riley Park. Sensley went for 3-for-5 with a double and five runs batted in. The five runs batted in were a season high for a RiverDog and a career high for Sensley.
The RiverDogs jumped on Drive starter Bryan Mata (L, 3-5) right from the start. Pablo Olivares started things off with a one-out single to right field. Isiah Gilliam would walk after Olivares advanced to second on a wild pitch to place runners at first and second. Donny sands flew out to right field to bring up Sensley. Sensley ripped a single to center field to bring Olivares home to make it 1-0 Dogs and move Gilliam to third. Dermis Garcia would earn a walk on a wild pitch from Mata scoring Gilliam to make it 2-0 Dogs.
The RiverDogs would score eight runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to put the game away. In the third, Donny Sands ripped a double that nearly went out the park off the scoreboard in left to score Pablo Olivares to make it 3-1 Dogs. Steven Sensley would pick up his second RBI of the game with a single up the middle to score Sands 4-1.
In the fourth, Jared Oliver came into pitch for the Drive, but he didn’t fare any better than Mata. He walked Vince Conde, Diego Castillo and Isiah Gilliam to load the bases. With two outs, Oliver walked Sands to make it 5-1. Sensley came to the plate and rifled a ball into the left field corner for a double to clear the bases to raise his RBI total to five on the night, extending the lead to 8-1.
“He’s a strong young man, he’s got a heck of a future ahead of him. Good kid, he swings the bat not only with power, but some has some ‘hit-ability’ so it’s exciting to see what he adds to the team,” RiverDogs manager Patrick Osborn said of Steven Sensley.
Both pitching staffs would put lots of runners on base as the Drive would walk 10 Dogs while Dogs pitching walked nine Drive.
The Drive would score three runs in the fifth and the Dogs would tack on two more in the seventh to bring the final score to 12-4. Dogs starter Alex Vargas came just short of qualifying for the win pitching four and two-thirds innings. Vargas allowed just one run, but had thrown 94 pitches. Garrett Mundell struggled and gave up three runs in one inning pitched in relief of Vargas. Austin DeCarr, (W, 2-1) would pick up the win in relief going one and one-third inning coming in for Mundell not allowing a run. David Sosebee would pitch the last two innings of the game, striking out four and allowing one hit.
“We swung the bats well. Alex had an okay start. Battled a little bit, threw too many pitches, had to yank him there in the fifth. Our middle relief could have been better. Sosebee comes in and shuts it down. We swung the bats well and we were able to score a bunch of runs,” Osborn said.
With the win, the Dogs improve to 60-51 on the season overall and 26-15 in the second half. With the Asheville Tourists losing to the Rome Braves 2-1, the RiverDogs lead in the Southern Division extends to four games as Rome takes over second place from Asheville. Asheville now drops back four and a half games into third place. Greenville drops to 61-49 overall and 20-21 in the second half. They are currently six games back in fourth place.
The two teams conclude their four game series Sunday at Joe Riley Park for a 5:05 start. The RiverDogs then go to Columbia for three games and Lexington for four games before returning home to face the Greenville Drive once more for a three game set starting August 15.