Carlos Vidal Delivers Walk-Off Triple to Give RiverDogs 4-3 Win
Last year the Charleston RiverDogs were the kings of the walk-off win, and this year they are proving to be not much different than last year’s version of the team. For the second time this season, the team gained a walk-off victory, this time when Carlos Vidal delivered a dramatic ninth inning triple that scored two to complete a huge come from behind victory over the Asheville Tourists, 4-3.
Jio Orozco started for the RiverDogs, but he would leave after five trailing 3-0. In the top of the first, Jose Gomez singled with one out and then stole second. He scored on a base hit by Vince Fernandez to give the Tourists the early lead.
In the third Gomez would strike for them again. He led off the inning and drilled his first homer of the season over the left field wall to make it 2-0.
That would be the score heading into the fifth when Asheville extended their lead to three. Manuel Melendez singled to start the inning and Gomez followed with a base hit that moved Melendez to second. The two would then pull the double steal but Melendez was gunned down. Gomez moved to second and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Colton Welker to make it 3-0.
Orozco had pitched quite well, going 5-innings. He allowed 6-hits, 4-walks, and 2-earned runs, but looked like he was going to be the hard luck loser. The Charleston hitters had done virtually nothing against Asheville starter Alejandro Requena, but that would change starting in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Angel Aguilar grounded a single to right and the ball was misplayed in right field, allowing him to reach second. A ground out moved Aguilar to third, and he scored on a two-out hit by Oswaldo Cabrera that made it 3-1.
In the seventh, the RiverDogs knocked the deficit to one. With Julian Fernandez on the hill for the Tourists, Isiah Gilliam started the inning with a walk and moved to third on consecutive ground outs. Just 90-feet from home and with two outs, Fernandez scored when Hoy Jun Park delivered the clutch hit to make it 3-2.
Into the ninth the game went with Asheville clinging to the one-run lead. Kenny Oakley came on and struck out Cabrera to start the frame. However, Leonardo Molina reached on an error before Gilliam drew a walk to put two on with one out. That brought Carlos Vidal to the plate, who drilled a ball to the wall in center. Both runners came around to score as Vidal reached third, and the Charleston RiverDogs won 4-3.
Trevor Lane (3-0) pitched three outstanding innings of relief for Charleston and earned the win. The reliever allowed 2-hits and 2-walks, while striking out 4. Three players had 2-hits in the game for the RiverDogs, including Hoy Jun Park, Angel Aguilar, and Brandon Wagner. Isiah Gilliam scored 2-runs and walked three times. Carlos Vidal had been 0-4 before delivering the clutch game-winner. For Asheville, Jose Gomez scored all three-runs and finished 3-5 with a homer and an RBI.
Game 2 of this series is tomorrow. Brandon Gold (0-1, 4.50) will start for Asheville against Brian Keller (2-0, 3.38) for the RiverDogs. Game time is set for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier