Feast or Famine Gives Charleston RiverDogs Double-Header Split
The Charleston RiverDogs split a double-header with the Columbia Fireflies Wednesday night, as the team had 15-hits in the 10-5 Game 1 victory, however, the bats went cold in Game 2, as Jordan Humphreys tossed a 4-hitter and struck out 10 in the 3-0 win. It was truly a night of feast or famine for the RiverDogs as every player in the lineup had at least one-hit in the first game, but Blake Rutherford and Diego Castillo were the only players to record hits in the night-cap, as both went 2-3.
In Game 1, both teams got on the scoreboard in the first. In the top half of the inning, Estevan Florial singled with two down and moved to second on a passed ball. Angel Aguilar followed by beating out a ground ball for a single, with Florial scoring on the play and it was 1-0 Charleston.
The Fireflies got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning. Gene Cone started the inning by singling to left and Luis Carpio walked to put two on with no one out. Two batters later, Jio Orozco threw a wild pitch that moved both runners into scoring position, and Cone scored on a balk.
In the top of the second, the RiverDogs went on top for good. Brandon Wagner singled to start the frame and moved to second on a ground out. With two down, Carlos Vidal reached on an error and Ben Ruta delivered a huge two-out single to score Wagner and give Charleston the lead. Florial then lined a double into right that allowed both runners to score to make it 4-1.
Columbia responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Tim Tebow beat out a ground ball for a single to start the frame and moved to second on the second balk of the game for Orozco. A passed ball moved him to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Milton Ramos.
In the top of the third, the Charleston RiverDogs took a commanding lead. Donny Sands and Isiah Gilliam started the frame with back-to-back singles and Wagner singled to load the bases with no one out. A double by Diego Castillo brought home both Sands and Gilliam, but it looked like that might be all the runs that were produced when Gabriel Llanes was able to retire the next two hitters. However, a wild pitch brought home Wagner, and Castillo scored on a single by Ruta. That made it 8-2.
Columbia was down, but they were not giving up by any stretch of the imagination. In the fourth, they cut that deficit to three. Tebow ripped a single to start the inning and Brandon Brosher walked. Ramos followed with a double that scored Tebow, before Lindsay walked. Orozco then struck out Cone, but a wild pitch brought home Brosher and Ramos scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 8-5.
The Fireflies were back in this contest, but they would get no closer. In the fifth, Charleston added two more runs to put this game away. Wagner singled to start the inning and moved to second on a passed ball. Castillo walked and Oswaldo Cabrera singled to center. Wagner attempted to score, but a great throw from Desmond Lindsay to Brosher nailed the runner to keep the lead intact. However, it was for naught, as Carlos Vidal followed the play with a single that scored both runners and it was 10-5. That would be the final.
Brandon Wagner finished 3-3 with 2-runs scored and both Ben Ruta and Estevan Florial were 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI for Charleston. Tim Tebow was 2-2 with 2-runs scored for Columbia.
After watching their pitchers shelled in Game 1, the Columbia Fireflies were looking for a big outing from Jordan Humphreys in the night cap, and that is just what he gave them. The right-hander dominated this contest from the start, never allowing more than one base runner to reach in any inning until the final one of the game.
This was a great duel between Humphreys and Charleston starter Brian Keller. The game was scoreless through three but, in the fourth, the Fireflies took the lead. Andres Gimenez singled to start the inning and scored when Michael Paez tripled to the wall in center. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Luis Carpio to make it 2-0.
In the fifth, Columbia extended the lead to three. Jay Jabs doubled to begin the frame. He moved to third on a fly ball, but looked like he may be stranded. There were two down when Cone came to the plate, and he delivered a clutch hit to score Jabs to make it 3-0.
That was way more than enough support for Jordan Humphreys (7-1) on this night. The righty was simply over-powering Charleston, allowing 4-hits and walk in 7-innings of work, while striking out 10. The only trouble he faced came in the seventh when he hit Hoy Jun Park before giving up a double to Blake Rutherford. There were two runners in scoring position with no one out, but the big righty struck out the next two hitters before getting a pop out to end the game.
Michael Paez led the Columbia offense, going 2-2 with a run, triple, and an RBI. Both Blake Rutherford and Diego Castillo went 2-3 for Charleston.
The RiverDogs head home to take on Greenville tomorrow evening. Logan Boyd (5-1, 3.98) starts for the Drive against Nick Nelson (0-3, 6.75). First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier