Jay Jabs Delivers Walk-Off Double to Give Columbia 5-Game Sweep
The Columbia Fireflies had been giving the Charleston RiverDogs a heavy dose of their impressive pitching staff, allowing 8-runs through the first four-games of this series. Monday night proved to be no easier for the RiverDogs as Brian Keller and Blake Taylor each allowed a single run through seven-innings of work, and Jay Jabs won it for Columbia with an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth after making a brilliant defensive play in the top half of the inning. The walk-off victory gave the Fireflies the 2-1 win.
Keller was absolutely brilliant for Charleston from the start. He retired the first six batters of the game, and had two strikeouts early on. Taylor allowed a leadoff walk and he committed an error that put two on with no one out in the top of the first, but he got a strike out before inducing a double-play to end the threat. He retired the side in order in the second.
In the third both teams would plate a run. In the top half of the inning, Ben Ruta walked to start the frame and Hoy Jun Park followed with a single, but Ruta was thrown out trying to get into third. Estevan Florial followed with a double that moved Park to third and he scored on a balk.
The lead did not last long as Columbia tied it in the bottom half of the inning. Brandon Brosher led off by hitting his fourth home run of the season to tie the score.
With the game tied, a whole lot of goose eggs appeared on the scoreboard. Both Keller and Taylor looked brilliant through the next four-innings. Brian Keller finished with 7-innings pitched, allowing 5-hits, a walk, and a run, while fanning 9. Blake Taylor allowed 4-hits, 4-walk, and a run during that span. He struck out 5.
In the ninth, both teams had their chance to win it. In the top half of the frame, Donny Sands walked against Adam Atkins to start the inning, which brought a call for Matt Blackham. He would strike out the next two batters. However, a wild pitch allowed Sands to move to second. Dalton Blaser pinch-ran, and Brandon Wagner followed with a base hit into left field. It looked like Blaser would score, but Jabs made a beautiful throw to the plate to nail the runner and keep it tied.
It went to the bottom of the ninth with Garrett Mundell still on the hill for Charleston. He had pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and was looking to send this to extra innings. He quickly retired the first two batters, but Desmond Lindsay kept it alive with a soft single into center. That brought Jabs to the plate, who ripped a double into the gap in center. Lindsay came all the way around to score and the Columbia Fireflies won 2-1.
Matt Blackham (2-0) earned the win. Jay Jabs was 2-4 with a double, RBI and outfield assist.
After being swept in all five-games in Columbia, the RiverDogs return home to take on West Virginia Tuesday night. Nick Green (4-4, 2.75) will go for Charleston against Eduardo Vera (2-2, 2.72). First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier