CHARLESTON, SC – With a different look Charleston RiverDogs, it would take a new way to win for a RiverDogs club that seldom needed to rely on their bats with a dominant pitching staff in the first half. Trailing 4-3 heading into the ninth, the RiverDogs clawed their way back into the ballgame to tie it, but would fall 5-4 in walk off fashion to the Power on Wednesday night at Appalachian Power Park, the fourth consecutive loss for Charleston to match a season-high.
Newcomers shined in the RiverDogs’ ninth inning comeback with center fielder Ricardo Ferreira beating out an infield single to lead off the ninth before Mandy Alvarez drove in the tying run with a ground out to third that made it 4-4 and forced a home half. For Alvarez, it was his 13th RBI in 14 games with Charleston despite a 0-for-5 day at the plate.
Jhalan Jackson, one of the rare remnants of the RiverDogs’ Opening Day roster, finished with a solid 3-for-5 night with an RBI to lead the offensive charge.
In the bottom of the ninth, RiverDogs righty Hobie Harris (1-3) walked Ryan Nagle on four pitches to lead off the inning. West Virginia catcher Christian Kelley sacrificed him over to put the winning run in scoring position before Harris punched out shortstop Alfredo Reyes at the bottom of the order. After an intentional walk to Casey Hughston, Logan Ratledge reached on a fielding error by Hobie Harris to load up the bases before Mitchell Tolman’s single to right lifted the Power to victory, their second walk off win over the RiverDogs this season.
In a wild back and forth affair that featured 21 combined hits, three ties, and five lead changes, it never felt like the RiverDogs were in control as they lost their fourth in a row to tie their season-high losing streak set from May 27-31.
West Virginia took the lead in the first inning and never gave the RiverDogs any breathing room. After Casey Hughston reached on a single to right center, the first of seven leadoff batters to reach for the Power, Daniel Arribas hit into a one out RBI fielder’s choice to make it 1-0 Power.
Charleston answered back in the top half of the second with back-to-back singles by Jackson and Alex Palma to start the frame before a passed ball allowed Jackson score and make it 1-1.
In the third, a leadoff triple by Reyes scored on an RBI double by Hughston to give West Virginia a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, the RiverDogs took their first lead of the ballgame after chasing West Virginia ace Mitch Keller. Designated hitter Cesar Diaz reached on a hit by pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a one out single by shortstop Hoy Jun Park. Still with one out, Charleston catcher Luis Torrens roped a single to right to tie the game at 2-2. After a fly out to right by Alvarez, Keller would exit. Jackson singled off of reliever Julio Vivas to push across the inherited runner and make it 3-2 RiverDogs.
The Power pulled the game back even in the fifth when Christian Kelley collected his first home run of the season on a lead off shot off of Morris to make it 3-3.
West Virginia took the lead once again in the seventh set up once again by a lead off hit, a double by Ryan Nagle who scored on a fielder’s choice ground out by Hughston.
The RiverDogs began continue their series with the Power on Thursday night at 7:05pm at Appalachian Power Park. The RiverDogs will send RHP Daris Vargas (5-5, 3.70) as the Power roll out RHP Dario Agrazal (6-6, 4.11). After the three-game tilt in Charleston North, the RiverDogs face the Hagerstown Suns in a four-game series before returning to The Joe for a four-game homestand from July 28-31.
Ticket information for the RiverDogs homestand and any of the remaining home games can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Tickets for Game Two of the SAL Divisional Series on Friday, September, 9 at 7:05pm are now available. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at riverdogs.com.