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 Charleston RiverDogs

Fireflies Strike Late to Upend RiverDogs 7-3

April 18, 2024 - Carolina League (CarL)
Charleston RiverDogs News Release

Charleston RiverDogs at bat
Charleston RiverDogs at bat
(Charleston RiverDogs)

Charleston, SC - The Columbia Fireflies scored five runs combined in the eighth and ninth innings to break a tie and beat the Charleston RiverDogs 7-3 on Thursday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Erick Pena drove in four runs and twice gave Columbia the lead with his left-handed swing. The victory was the first of the series for the Fireflies. A crowd of 4,785 took in the game from the seats.

The eighth inning began with the score knotted 2-2. Samuel Mejia returned to the mound after working out of a jam one inning earlier. The right-hander issued a free pass to Columbia leadoff hitter Blake Mitchell to begin the frame. Daniel Vazquez then popped up his bunt attempt to catcher Raudelis Martinez for the first out of the inning, but Mitchell was able to tag up and advance to second on the play. A groundout moved Mitchell to third base before Austin Charles also worked a walk and stole second. Mejia then threw six consecutive breaking balls to Erick Pena, the last of which was dropped into shallow right field for a two-run single. Lizandro Rodriguez added two more runs with a double before the frame concluded. Each team scored one run in the ninth inning to reach the final tally.

The RiverDogs (6-6) struck first with a run in the third inning. Ricardo Gonzalez smashed a double past first baseman Chris Brito with two outs in the frame. Cristopher Barete followed immediately with a line drive back through the middle that made it 1-0.

Santiago Suarez had worked his way through 3.0 scoreless innings and took the mound with a lead for the first time in the fourth. Vazquez opened that frame with a base hit and was still at first when Pena came to the plate with two down. The right fielder hammered a two-run home run over the right field wall to hand the Fireflies (7-5) the lead. The runs were the first allowed on the season for Suarez, who worked 6.0 innings without further damage and struck out four.

Charleston pulled even on an interesting play in the sixth inning. With two outs, Martinez and Woo Shin took back-to-back walks from Emmanuel Reyes, chasing the starter from the game. That brought Angel Mateo to the plate against lefty Jacob Widener. Mateo hit a slow bouncer to second and the throw to first was too late to retire the hitter. Martinez, the lead runner, never stopped around third and slid home with the tying run. Reyes did not factor in the decision, surrendering two runs in 5.2 innings of work with eight strikeouts.

Mejia was dealt the loss, having been charged with three runs in 1.2 innings. Owen Stevenson was the last man out of the RiverDogs pen, giving up two runs in 1.1 innings.

Pena finished 2-5 with a home run and four RBI. Mitchell, Vazquez and Rodriguez also collected a pair of hits. The RiverDogs mustered five hits, two of them from Gonzalez.

Ballpark Fun

The RiverDogs hosted their first Budweiser© Thirsty Thursday of the season on Thursday with a tribute to weird South Carolina Laws. According to Palmetto State legislature, children under the age of 18 are not permitted to play pinball. In true RiverDogs fashion, fans 18 and under were invited to break that law by playing pinball on a machine located on the concourse directly behind home plate.

The series continues Friday night with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. RHP T.J. Nichols (0-1, 9.82) will take the hill for the RiverDogs. RHP Felix Arronde (1-0, 1.00) will counter for Columbia. Fireworks presented by REV Federal Credit Union will follow the contest.

The RiverDogs continue their hunt for a fourth-consecutive Carolina League championship in 2024. The full schedule of games is available here. Season tickets, Dog-E Coin plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are available at For the lowest ticket prices, go directly to The Segra Club is also open for events year-round. Visit for more information. The brand new RiverDogs Food Truck is available for your next event! Contact the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS) for more information.

Images from this story

Charleston RiverDogs at bat
Charleston RiverDogs at bat


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Carolina League Stories from April 18, 2024

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