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'Birds Survive Lightning, Late 'Dogs Rally

July 12, 2018 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Delmarva Shorebirds News Release

CHARLESTON, SC - The Delmarva Shorebirds waited out a lightning delay and held back a late Charleston RiverDogs rally, winning the game and clinching another series 11-6 on Thursday night at Joe Riley Park.

Jhon Peluffo (3-4) continued his recent resurgence for the Shorebirds (13-8, 48-40), allowing one unearned run on three hits in five innings while walking one and striking out three. Jio Orozco (1-2) got shelled for the loss for the RiverDogs (12-7, 45-41), giving up seven runs on eight hits in four frames.

The Shorebirds got to Orozco early and often. Cadyn Grenier slashed a one-out double down the left field line in the first inning, then Zach Jarrett dropped a bloop single into right to put men on the corners. Trevor Craport came up next and laced a grounder through the left side, scoring Grenier to get Delmarva on the board. Ryan Ripken singled to load the bases, then Mason McCoy walked to force in a run and Branden Becker lifted a sac fly into left to plate another. Ben Breazeale capped the fun with a two-out line drive single to right, bringing in Ripken to make it 4-0 before Peluffo even took the hill.

The RiverDogs got a gift run in the bottom of the first when Matt McPhearson led off with a walk and eventually scored on a Dermis Garcia infield single and throwing error at short. Peluffo settled in from there, tossing four scoreless innings, featuring a home run-saving catch by Zach Jarrett to rob Oswaldo Cabrera in the fourth. Peluffo got the Shorebirds through the fifth before a brief lightning storm halted the game for half an hour.

In the meantime, Delmarva continued to add to its lead. Becker belted a three-run homer to right in the third inning, while Breazeale came through with another two-out RBI single in the fifth to make it 8-1.

The RiverDogs clawed their way back into it against Ryan Wilson in the bottom of the eighth. Eduardo Navas led off with a walk, and McPhearson singled two batters later to put two on. Wilkerman Garcia followed up with a single to score Navas and move McPhearson to third, and McPhearson came in on a wild pitch to make it 8-3.

Cabrera slashed a double to left center to score Garcia, then after the Shorebirds turned to Max Knutson to strike out Dermis Garcia, Chris Hess lifted a routine flyball to right that Jarrett simply dropped, allowing Cabrera to race in to get Charleston within 8-5. The RiverDogs' four-spot came largely on 10 two-strike foul balls in the inning.

With momentum swung to the home side, Delmarva seized it right back with two out in the ninth. Mason McCoy started the rally with a single, then Branden Becker slashed a single into right and took an extra base on a bobble. For the third time in the game, Breazeale notched a two-out RBI base-knock, scoring McCoy. Max Hogan followed by pulling a sharp grounder over the first base bag that pinballed in the right field corner. Becker and Breazeale both scored to push the Shorebird lead back to 11-5.

Mitchell Hansen started the RiverDog ninth with an automatic double, and Navas drew another walk to put two men on. After a flyout, McPhearson notched a single to bring around Hansen and make it 11-6. A walk to Wilkerman Garcia loaded the bases with one out, but Cameron Ming coaxed a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Cabrera, bringing proceedings to a long-awaited end.

Becker led the way for the Shorebirds, going 2-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored, and four RBIs. Breazeale finished 4-for-5 with a double, run and three RBIs. While every Shorebird had at least one of the team's 15 hits, it was the bottom three in the Delmarva batting order - Becker, Breazeale, and Hogan - who came up biggest, combining for seven hits, four runs, and nine RBIs on the night.

McPhearson helped get the RiverDogs back into it, going 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs, and an RBI.

With a series win in the bag the Shorebirds have now won five of their past six series, going 11-6 over that span.

The Shorebirds go for the sweep of their hosts on Friday night. Cameron Bishop (7-4, 2.85) gets the nod for Delmarva against Charleston's Miguel Yajure (2-0, 2.74). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.

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