Blue Ridge Woes, RiverDogs Walked off on to Drop Third Straight
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Following an 11-2 run to open up the month of the August, the RiverDogs have now dropped three straight to fall to five games back in the playoff race. The RiverDogs led for the first eight and a half innings on Saturday night before catcher Willie MacIver unloaded a two-run, walk-off blast as the first-place Tourists roared past Charleston 6-5 for their fourth straight win at McCormick Field.
Charleston (64-61, 27-28) has now dropped their last four contests in Asheville (61-64, 32-23), falling to 2-8 on the season at McCormick Field. After entering the series only two games behind the Rockies affiliate in the second-half standings, the Dogs' playoff chances dwindled with only 15 games remaining. The three-game losing streak is Charleston's first since July 16-18. Before Friday, they had not lost back-to-back games since July 26-27.
In the silver linings department, 19-year-old shortstop Oswald Peraza continued to impress, collecting his second three-hit game with the RiverDogs, including drilling his first home run with Charleston out to left-center in the second, at the time pushing the Holy City out to a 5-1 lead.
The RiverDogs jumped on Asheville starter Jake Bird early, cashing in for four runs on five hits. Five straight Charleston hitters reached to open the inning, including designated hitter Josh Breaux, who smacked a two-run double off the left-center wall. The second-rounder now has an impressive 39 runs driven in in 37 games this year. His slugging percentage rose to over .500 on the season in what was his seventh game back after a return from the injured list.
After trading runs in the first two innings and Charleston coming out ahead, 5-2, the game settled down until the sixth when right fielder Daniel Montano took Harold Cortijo deep when the Dogs' 20-year-old starter was nearing the end of his night. The two-run shot was the 20-year-old Venezuelan outfielder's seventh of the season, making it 5-4.
Dalton Lehnen impressively wriggled in and out of jams in the seventh and eighth, including getting out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the former. The Minnesota-born southpaw came back on for the ninth inning and allowed a one-out double to first baseman Grant Lavigne before falling behind 2-0 on MacIver who delivered the game-winner.
The Tourists had baserunners in every inning and stranded 11 on the night. The Rockies affiliate improved to a league-best 21-9 at home in the second-half. The four-run deficit marked their biggest comeback win of the year.
The RiverDogs try to avoid the sweep in Asheville on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. from McCormick Field. Right-hander Jhony Brito will be handed the ball for Charleston in the finale. The 21-year-old right-hander is coming off his most impressive start of the season when he tossed seven strong frames while allowing just one unearned run on Monday against Columbia at Riley Park. Sunday will make his first true start against the Tourists; the Dominican Republic product has allowed six runs (four earned) over 10 2/3 innings in relief against the Rockies farm club. Asheville will throw righty Eris Filpo (2-1, 6.00) in opposition. Making his fourth start since a call up from the Pioneer League, the fellow 21-year-old Dominican coughed up seven runs and recorded just four outs in his last start Tuesday against Rome. First pitch in the series finale is at 2:05 p.m.
Catch the game on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area and online streaming on the TuneIn Radio app. Fans can "Make Fun" with the RiverDogs all season long down at The Joe. Single-game tickets, including options to the Riley Park Club, are available at riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS). A full schedule and list of game times for the 2019 season are available at riverdogs.com.
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South Atlantic League Stories from August 17, 2019
- Rally Comes up Short for Kannapolis in 4-3 Loss - Kannapolis Intimidators
- Grasshoppers Shutout Jackets 7-0 - Augusta GreenJackets
- Greenville Falls to Hickory on Saturday - Greenville Drive
- 'Birds Squander Wilson's Dandy in Lakewood - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Blue Ridge Woes, RiverDogs Walked off on to Drop Third Straight - Charleston RiverDogs
- Rangel, Venter Lead Rome to 4-0 Win over Columbia - Rome Braves
- MacIver Provides the Magic at McCormick Field - Asheville Tourists
- Birthday Boy Guzman Comes Through in 8th; Claws Win 2-1 on Saturday - Lakewood BlueClaws
- Martin Tosses Six Scoreless in Debut Despite Loss - West Virginia Power
- Acosta Does It Again, But Fireflies Fall - Columbia Fireflies
- Suns Rise Late to Upend Power 4-1 - Hagerstown Suns
- Fireflies Game Notes: August 17 vs. Rome (Game 121) - Columbia Fireflies
- Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes - Hagerstown Suns
- Game Notes (August 17) - West Virginia Power
- Medina Called up to High-A Tampa - Charleston RiverDogs
- Tourists Tie Grand Slam Record - Asheville Tourists
- Bill on Baseball: Hoppers Beat Oddball Defense to Win - Greensboro Grasshoppers
- Braves fall five games back in division race - Rome Braves
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