Isiah Gilliam Provides Power, Jio Orozco the Outage as RiverDogs Win 3-2
The West Virginia Power came to Charleston Monday night looking to flex their muscles, but it was the RiverDogs Isiah Gilliam who provided the power on the evening. Gilliam blasted his fourth homer of the season, and Jio Orozco put an outage to the West Virginia offense in the 3-2 victory. The win moved the RiverDogs to 7-3 over their last 10-games.
After both Orozco and West Virginia starter Cam Vieaux kept the game scoreless through three innings, Charleston would take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. With one down, Blake Rutherford doubled into left field but looked like he may be stranded when Vieaux was able to record a ground out for the second out of the ending. That brought Isiah Gilliam to the plate, who drilled the a Vieaux offering over the right field wall for his fourth homerun of the season to stake the RiverDogs to a 2-0 lead.
Orozco had been nearly unhittable through the first three innings of the game. He allowed a single and a walk in the first inning, then retired the next seven batters. In the fourth, West Virginia was able to get two runners on with one out, but Orozco got a pop out and a flyball to end the threat. In the fifth, the Power would get two more runners on base, but the Charleston starter struck out Ty Moore to end the inning.
Orozco had pitched quite well through the first five innings, but had been living on the edge in the fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth, West Virginia would finally get to him.
After the right-hander struck out Hunter Owen to start the frame, the next three batters were able to reach base safely. Albert Baur singled into right field before Carlos Munoz walked. That brought Arden Pabst to the plate, who ripped a single into left field, scoring Baur. Munoz attempted to go for third, but a perfect relay from Carlos Vidal to the shortstop Hoy Jun Park and onto Oswaldo Cabrera at third gunned the runner down for the second out of the inning. Clark Eagan followed by lining a single into center field to score Pabst and the game was tied.
In the bottom half of the inning, the RiverDogs responded, re-taking the lead. Vieaux was able to retire the first two batters of the inning, but Rutherford kept the frame alive by grounding a single into left field. He then stole second, before coming home when Sands doubled into right field. That made the score 3-2 and set the stage for an exciting conclusion to the ballgame.
Jio Orozco (2-3) came out after pitching 6-innings. The right-hander allowed 6-hits, 2-walks, and 2-earned runs, while striking out 4. The outing had to be especially pleasing to the Charleston coaching staff as Orozco through 50 of his 82-pitches for strikes.
In the top of the seventh, Trevor Lane came on in relief and pitched brilliantly for the RiverDogs. He retired the Power in order in the top of the seventh, but would walk two in the eighth. However, he left the inning unscathed after getting Eagan to line out to end the threat.
In the ninth, Garrett Mundell came on looking to record his fifth save of the season. He would be greeted with a base hit by Mahala, who was erased on the base paths after Alexis Bastardo hit into a fielder’s choice while attempting to sacrifice. Bastardo then moved to second on a stolen base, but Mundell would strike out the final two batters of the inning to give the Charleston RiverDogs the 3-2 victory.
Blake Rutherford led the Charleston offense by going 2-4 with 2-runs and a double. Isiah Gilliam was 1-3 with a run scored, a homer, and 2-RBI. The West Virginia offense was led by Carlos Munoz, who was 1-2 with 2-walks.
These two teams will continue their series tomorrow evening. The RiverDogs will send Brian Keller (3-4, 4.53) to the hill to face Luis Escobar (4-2, 4.43). First pitch is set for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier