RiverDogs Overwhelm Tourists in Road Finale
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Needing a win to keep their improbable playoff hopes alive, the Charleston RiverDogs delivered with one of their most complete offensive performances of the year to finish the 2019 road slate. All nine RiverDogs collected hits, punctuated by Josh Breaux's go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and a four-hit night from shortstop Oswald Peraza, as the RiverDogs cruised past Asheville late, taking Thursday's finale 10-6 at McCormick Field.
The RiverDogs (70-66, 33-33) didn't take their first lead until the sixth, when Breaux's second longball of the series capped a four-run inning. The second-round pick has now whacked five home runs in 18 games since returning from a two-month long injured list stint. Thursday also marked the first time he caught nine innings behind the plate since returning.
The Dogs chased Asheville (65-61, 36-30) starter Jake Bird with three straight hits to open the decisive frame. After knocks from Welfrin Mateo and Frederick Cuevas, second baseman Eduardo Torrealba drilled a double into right-center that pulled the Holy City within a pair, at the time 5-4. Torrealba would go on to collect hits in his next two at-bats, including another run-scoring double in the ninth, for his third multi-hit game in the last four days. The 20-year-old had entered the road trip batting just .179 since the All-Star break with only three total extra-base hits in that span.
Charlie Ruegger (W, 3-3) put the RiverDogs into an early hole but settled in to deliver a solid outing. After allowing two home runs in the third that pulled Asheville out to a 5-1 advantage, he went on to retire 13 of the final 14 that he faced. The New Jersey product finished going a career-long seven innings while allowing five runs and fanning six without a walk.
Leading 6-5, some sloppy play by the Tourists help Charleston ice the game away late. Three errors led to four Charleston runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Torrealba singled to lead off the eighth and advanced on a passed ball before scoring on a throwing error by the catcher Willie MacIver when Peraza attempted to steal second. A high throw with two outs from Kyle Datres at third led to another.
Charleston had their leadoff batter reach in every inning and left 11 stranded on base in the game. It marked their most hits in a single game since they also tallied 15 on August 10 in Hickory.
MacIver finished off a two-homer game with his second drive out of the park to lead off the ninth. The All-Star backstop finished the season series with Charleston belting seven of his 13 home runs on the season against the RiverDogs. Lefty Tim Hardy finished off an otherwise clean two innings to garner his second save.
The RiverDogs return home for their final four games of the season as they host Greenville starting on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. from The Joe. Needing just one win to clinch the season series with their Red Sox rivals, Charleston will send right-hander Jhony Brito (6-4, 3.29) to make his final start of 2019. The 21-year-old had arguably the best start of his career last time out, turning in 8.0 innings of one-run ball while fanning seven on Saturday night against Kannapolis. He has let up two unearned runs over 9 1/3 innings of relief against the Drive previously this year. Brito will match up with knuckleballer Kevin Biondic (4-8, 4.29). The Boston farmhand has allowed at least four runs in six straight starts dating back to June 24, a stretch in which he owns a 5.84 ERA. The right-hander has seen Charleston on three previous occasions, allowing just two runs in 11 innings of work. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. as the RiverDogs host their final postgame fireworks show of the season presented by Home Telecom on a Boeing Red Shirt Friday.
For those that can't make it out to the park, catch the game on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area and online streaming on the TuneIn Radio app and via MiLB.tv with a subscription. 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 29, 2019
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