Freicer Perez, RiverDogs Bullpen Blanks Greenville, 1-0
While it may be only May, the first three games between the Greenville Drive and the Charleston RiverDogs have had a playoff feel to them. Game 1 of this series was won 1-0 by the Drive, and the RiverDogs won yesterday in 13-innings, 2-1. Saturday night, Freicer Perez took to the hill and pitched six shutout innings and two relievers joined him in blanking the Drive, as Charleston won 1-0.
Every game of this series has been a nail-biter from that start, and Saturday night’s contest was no different. Robby Sexton started for Greenville, and he and Perez kept this a scoreless tie through the first six innings of the game. Perez retired the first 10 batters of the game, only seeing his run come to an end when Santiago Espinal singled with one out in the fourth.
Charleston was not having much better success against Sexton, as he retired the minimum through the first four innings, only allowing a walk to start the third, but then inducing a double-play to erase the runner. Sexton had a no-hitter going through the first five innings, and only saw that end when Eduardo Navas singled with one out in the sixth.
Freicer Perez came out after 6-innings, allowing 4-hits, a walk, and no earned runs. He struck out 5. Christian Morris (2-1) took over and pitched 2-scoreless innings, and he was rewarded when the RiverDogs scored in the bottom of the seventh.
Angel Aguilar doubled to lead off the inning, and Sexton came out of the game. Hunter Smith took over and retired Isiah Gilliam, but Ben Ruta drilled a line drive single to center that scored Aguilar. Ruta tried to stretch his hit into a double, but was thrown out, however, the RiverDogs had the lead.
Morris retired the side in order in the eighth. In the ninth, Charleston turned to Trevor Lane. He gave up a single to start the frame, but induced a double-play before getting a fly ball out to end the game. That gave Lane his first save of the season.
Robby Sexton (0-5) took the loss, despite pitching 6 outstanding innings. He allowed only 2-hits, 3-walks, and an earned run. He struck out 3 in making his best start of the season. Hunter Smith pitched 2-scoreless innings.
This series concludes tomorrow when Jhonathan Diaz makes his first start of the season for Greenville. The RiverDogs have not named their starter. First pitch is 5:05.
By Robert Pannier