14th Inning Triple by Hoy Jun Park Gives Charleston RiverDogs 5-3 Victory
It took four hours and six minutes, but the Charleston RiverDogs were finally able to walk away with the 5-3 victory, thanks to Hoy Jun Park, whose triple plated two for the win. It was another dramatic win for the team, which already has four home walk-off wins to their credit.
Brady Koerner started for Charleston and found himself down by two just three innings into the game. The Augusta GreenJackets got on the board in the second when Kelvin Beltre singled with one out and moved to second on an error. A force out moved Beltre to third and he scored on a line drive single by Adam Sonabend.
In the bottom of the third the GreenJackets extended their lead. Koerner retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Dillon Dobson drilled his fourth home run of the season to make the score 2-0.
In the top of the fourth the RiverDogs were able to cut their deficit in half. Augusta starter Grant Watson was able to retire the first batter of the inning, but Trey Amburgey singled with one out. Chris Gittens followed with a single that moved Amburgey to second. He would then steal third and, in a totally gutsy call, RiverDogs Manager Luis Dorante sent Gittens to second on the steal. As he was racing for second, Amburgey broke for home. Both runners were safe and the score was 2-1.
In the top of the sixth, Charleston grabbed their first lead of the game. Mike Connolly took over the pitching duties for Augusta and walked Jeff Hendrix. Park then singled to right field. Hendrix raced for third and the throw was wild trying to get him. That allowed Hendrix to score and Park to reach third. Amburgey followed with a single and just like that the RiverDogs were winning 3-2.
The lead did not last long as Augusta scored one in the bottom of the sixth to tie it up. Beltre doubled with one out, and moved to third on a wild pitch. He would score on another wild pitch to make it 3-3. Then the marathon began.
Each team had the opportunity to end the night earlier, but the pitchers all delivered amazing pitches when needed. Augusta’s first chance came in the bottom of the 1oth. Travis Hissong come on in relief for Charleston and struck out Jalen Miller, but Tyler Brown and Dillon Dobson delivered back-to-back singles putting runners at the corners. Augusta looked like they would get the walk-off win, but Hissong came up huge, striking out Dylan Davis and Beltre to end the inning.
In the top of the 11th it was Charleston’s turn to try to win it. Ryan Halstead came on in relief and was greeted with a single by Gittens. He stole second with two outs, but Halstead got a pop out to end the inning.
The game remained tied heading into the 14th. RF Dylan Davis had come on in the 13th to pitch and had done a great job, yielding a single and walk with one out, but getting the last two hitters of the inning to end the threat. In the next inning he would not be so fortunate.
Connor Spencer walked to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice. Two batters later Hendrix walked to put two on with two outs. That brought Park to the plate, and he lined a ball down the left field line that hit off the line\. The ball rolled to the wall allowing both runners to score and Park to reach third. That made the score 5-3 and that is how it would end.
While Koerner pitched well in his six innings of work, it was the bullpen that really delivered a sensational outing. James Reeves pitched three shutout innings, striking out four. Hissong went 3.2 innings, allowing 3-hits, but striking all 11 outs that he made. Claudio Custodio (2-0) went the last 1.1 innings pitched, striking out all four outs he made.
For the game the Charleston RiverDogs struck out 23 Augusta hitters. They allowed just 9-hits and 4-walks.
Gittens had a huge day at the plate, going 4-5 and walking once. Amburgey was 3-7 with a run and an RBI. Park was 2-7 with a run and the big two-run triple. Those three combined for nine of the team’s 10 hits.
These two teams will close out their series tomorrow at 2:05. Cory Taylor (0-0, 0.00) goes to the mound for Augusta. Charleston has named their starter.
By Robert Pannier