Charleston RiverDogs Score Four in 11th to Clip BlueClaws
Late game heroics are the norm for the Charleston RiverDogs, and this was on display again Tuesday night, as the team rallied from two down to tie the score in the eighth, then added four in the 11th to win 7-3. Jhalan Jackson continues to deliver when it counts, driving home the winning run, and Thairo Estrada added a career high four hits in the victory.
The game was delayed for two hours due to a downpour. The contest finally got underway at about 8:35 and both starters looked solid through the first inning. In the second, the Lakewood BlueClaws would manufacture a run to grab the lead. Jose Pujols led off with a single, then stole second base, his first steal of the year. A ground out moved him to third, and he would score on a passed ball.
Lakewood starter Tyler Gilbert was keeping the RiverDogs bats at bay as it remained 1-0 through four, but Charleston would tie the score in the top of the fifth. With one out, Angel Aguilar singled and moved to second on a single by Eduardo Navas. Jeff Hendrix followed with a double that scored Aguilar and the game was tied. The visitors had a real shot at blowing this game open, but Gilbert delivered big pitches when he had to. Hoy Jun Park struck out for the second out of the inning, and Trey Amburgey flew out to end the threat and keep the score tied.
In the bottom of the fifth Lakewood would retake the lead. Jan Hernandez started the inning with a walk and moved to second on a passed ball. A fly ball moved him to third before Austin Bossart walked. Emmanuel Marrero followed with a perfectly laid down bunt on the squeeze play that he would beat out for a single with Hernandez scoring. RiverDogs starter Cody Carroll was in a lot of trouble, especially after his throwing error allowed both runners to move into scoring position. However, he, too, showed great poise, getting a comebacker that he turned into a double-play to end the threat.
In the bottom of the sixth, Lakewood extended their lead. Pujols walked with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. A ground ball moved him to third, and he scored when Jiandid Tromp doubled.
It would remain 3-1 heading into the top of the eighth. That was when another RiverDogs late rally would tie the score. Amburgey led off by reaching on an error. Connor Spencer ran for him when Amburgey injured his leg. Two batters later, Jhalan Jackson doubled, scoring Spencer and making it a one-run game. Thairo Estrada’s base hit scored Jackson and the game was tied.
It would remain that way until the top of the 11th inning, when Charleston would take their first lead of the game. With one out, Park beat out a ground ball for a single. He then stole second and moved to third on a balk. Spencer followed with a walk and stole second, and Chris Gittens also walked to load the bases with one out. Next came Jackson, who also drew a walk, plating Park to make it 4-3. Two batters later Estrada came up big again, ripping a ground ball to third that he beat out for a single, scoring Spencer and keeping the bases loaded. Aguilar walked to drive home another run, and Eduardo Navas was hit by a pitch to score Jackson and make it 7-3.
Claudio Custodio (3-0) earned the victory with two scoreless innings of relief. Simon De la Rosa pitched incredibly well in relief of Carroll, allowing just three-hits and a run in four innings of work.
Estrada had a huge day at the plate, going 4-6 with 2-RBI. Aguilar was 3-5 with a run and an RBI. Hendrix was 3-7, with an RBI and two doubles.
By Robert Pannier