Hoy Jun Park Leads 14-Run Slugfest; RiverDogs Win 14-8
A night after the Charleston RiverDogs received their best pitching performance of the season, it was time for the hitters to be the stars. The Rome Braves jumped out to an 8-3 lead, only to see the RiverDogs battle back to within one, before a five-run eighth would give them the lead and the visitors would go onto win, 14-8. Hoy Jun Park led the way offensively, collecting 4-hits, 3-runs, while knocking in 3, and Phillip Diehl earned his second win of the season with five outstanding innings of relief.
The RiverDogs would jump out in front against Rome starter Jeremy Walker. Park singled to start the game and moved to second when Diego Castillo followed with a base hit. Blake Rutherford then drew a walk and the bases were loaded with no one out. Angel Aguilar was the next hitter, and he plated two with a line drive single to left. Donny Sands would drive in the third run of the inning with a ground out and Charleston was out to the early lead. It did not last long.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Braves would score four against Freicer Perez. Anfernee Seymour started the inning by reaching on an error and moved to second when Derian Cruz beat out a bunt for a single. With runners at the corner, Cruz looked to steal second and was safe. Seymour came home on the delayed steal and the score was 3-1. Cristian Pache drew a walk, and Juan Yepez singled to load the bases, and there was still no one out. A fielder’s choice by Anthony Concepcion scored Cruz and Diego Castillo’s second error of the inning, a throw to first attempting to get Concepcion, allowed Pache to come home as well and the game was tied. With two down, Randy Ventura singled home Concepcion and the Braves led, 4-3.
In the bottom of the second they would extend their lead. Seymour started the inning with his fourth double of the season, and scored on a ground out. Pache beat out a bunt for a single and Yepez walked to put two on with one out. An error by Perez allowed Concepcion to reach, bringing home Pache. Yepez then scored on a balk and it was 7-3.
It had become a shocking turn of events, and when the Braves added a run in the bottom of the third, this game was looking like it was over. Diehl came on in relief and gave up a single to Ventura to start the frame. He would steal his fifth and sixth bases of the year and scored on a single by Cruz to increase the lead to five.
In the top of the fourth, the RiverDogs got two of those runs back. Walker retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Vidal kept the frame alive with a base hit. Park followed with a single and Castillo reached on an error that scored Vidal.
That would be it for Walker, as Adam McCreery took over. He would get the final out of the inning, but not before the second error of the inning by Cruz allowed Rutherford to reach and Park to score to make it 8-5.
Into the sixth the game went, where the Charleston RiverDogs would make this a one-run game. Isiah Gilliam started the inning by drawing a walk. Two batters later Park reached on a fielder’s choice and there were two down with a runner on first. He stole second and moved to third on a base hit by Castillo. Rutherford then walked to load the bases, ending the day for McCreery.
Matt Custred entered the contest looking to keep the lead intact, but he gave up a line drive double to Aguilar that brought home Park and Castillo and the score was 8-7.
In the top of the eighth, the RiverDogs would retake the lead. Rutherford started the inning with his third walk of the game. He stole second and Florial walked to put two on with one out.
Custred was replaced by Brandon White and the inning went haywire for the Rome Braves. Sands reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases, and Brandon Wagner hit a sacrifice fly to score Rutherford to tie the game. Gilliam then walked and Florial scored when Vial reached on an error. Next up was Park, who drilled a double to the wall in right, clearing the bases and extending the lead to four.
In the ninth, Charleston added two more runs. Back-to-back singles by Aguilar and Florial with one out put two on. With two down, Wagner grounded a single up the middle, scoring both runners and it was 14-8. That would be the final.
For the Charleston RiverDogs, Hoy Jun Park was 4-6 with 3-runs and 3-RBI. Diego Castillo was 3-6 with 2-runs and Angel Aguilar was also 3-6, scoring a run and driving in 4. Phillip Diehl (2-0) was absolutely brilliant after coming on in relief, pitching 5-innings, allowing 3-hits and an earned run while striking out 7.
The series between these two teams continues tomorrow with an early afternoon affair. Jio Orozco goes the RiverDogs against Ian Anderson.
By Robert Pannier