Harol Gonzalez Tames RiverDogs Bats in 3-1 Fireflies Victory
The Charleston RiverDogs remained in-state on Friday, traveling to rival Columbia to take on the Fireflies. Phillip Diehl started for Charleston looking to get the team back in the win column after their four-game winning streak was snapped on Thursday, however, it was Harol Gonzalez who provided the big performance on the night, shutting the RiverDogs down for seven innings on the team’s way to a 3-1 victory.
After a scoreless first inning, Columbia took the lead in the bottom of second. Desmond Lindsay was the first batter of the inning, and he drilled his sixth home run of the season over the left-center field wall to stake the Fireflies to the early lead.
It remained that way until the fifth, when the home team would extend their lead to three. With one down, Milton Ramos ground a single into center field before Gene Cone popped out for the second out of the inning. It looked like Diehl would get out of the inning unscathed, but the third out proved to be elusive. He walked Luis Carpio before Michael Paez drilled a double into center field that scored both Ramos and Carpio. That made the score 3-0.
That was more than enough support for Harol Gonzalez (3-4) on this evening. Not every inning was clean for the Columbia starter, but he knew how to make pitches when he needed them. After retiring the side in order in the first, he found runners at first and second with two down in the second, yet struck out Brandon Wagner to end the threat.
In the fifth, Charleston would load the bases but, once again, Gonzalez made the pitches when he needed to. In fact, the bases were loaded with just one out, but he was able to strike out Estevan Florial for the second out of the frame before getting Diego Castillo to fly out to end the threat.
After keeping the RiverDogs off the scoreboard for seven innings, Charleston would finally get a run in the eighth. Florial walked to start the inning but was thrown out on a throw to third following a Castillo single. A ground out moved the runner into second, and he scored on a base hit by Isiah Gilliam to make the score 3-1.
That is as close as Charleston would get. After retiring the second batter of the inning, Gonzalez came out. The Columbia starter went 7.2-innings, allowing 9-hits, 2-walks, and a run. He struck out six. Adonis Uceta came on to close out the eighth and finished out the game for his fourth save of the season. He struck out 3 in 1.1-innings of work.
Luis Carpio finished 1-2 with a run, double and 2-walks for Columbia. Milton Ramos was 2-3 with a run scored. Donny Sands went 2-4 and Dalton Blaser 2-3 for Charleston.
Charleston and Columbia will play a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 5:05 ET. Jio Orozco (3-3, 5.21) is scheduled to start Game 1 for the RiverDogs.
By Robert Pannier