Round trippers by Reymond Nunez, Mark Payton drive in first five RiverDogs runs
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1xr4Lk7
ASHEVILLE, NC July 28, 2014 – Reymond Nunez and Mark Payton each hit home runs and propelled the Charleston RiverDogs to a 6-5 victory against the Asheville Tourists on Monday evening at McCormick Field in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs lifted their records to 20-17 in the second half and 53-54 overall. The Tourists dropped to 28-10 and 69-38, respectively. Charleston now leads this four-game series by a 2-1 margin entering Tuesday’s series finale.
Asheville went ahead 1-0 with a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Following a leadoff groundout, Michael Benjamin, Jordan Patterson, and Ryan McMahon loaded the bases for Correlle Prime. A fly out to right field brought in Benjamin to give the Tourists a quick lead. The inning came to an end with a pair of rundowns and Patterson caught stealing home plate on a 2-4-2-5-1-3 relay.
Charleston homered in the third inning to surge in front, 2-1. Gosuke Katoh singled to open the inning before Nunez crushed a go-ahead home run to left field. Nunez’s two-run blast was his fourth home run of the season.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Tourists evened the score at 2-2. Prime reached on an infield single and advanced to second base during Jose Briceno’s sacrifice bunt. Dillon Thomas doubled to right field to score Prime. Thomas was caught stealing third by Eduardo de Oleo to counter Asheville’s opportunity to take the lead.
Payton put the RiverDogs back ahead with a three-run home run in the fifth inning. Katoh drew a one-out walk while Nunez reached on a field error. Payton followed with his second blast of his young professional career, giving Charleston a 5-2 advantage on his three-run clout.
The RiverDogs also added a run in the top of the sixth to take a 6-2 lead. With one out and the bases loaded, Katoh sent a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Jackson Valera.
A two-out Tourists rally in the bottom of the sixth resulted in just one run. Briceno was hit by a pitch before Thomas doubled to send him to third base. Ashley Graeter drove in Briceno on a single to cut the difference to 6-3. Max White followed with a smash to first base, but it deflected to Katoh and led to a 3-4-3 inning-ending groundout.
White pushed the Tourists to a ninth-inning rally. Graeter led off with a single, improving to 4-for-4 in the game. White followed with a two-run blast to right field, his sixth home run of the year, to bring Asheville within 6-5. However, the next three batters were retired to seal Charleston’s victory.
Rookie Davis earned the victory and jumped to 5-8 following 5.2 innings pitched with just three runs allowed. Alex Balog was tagged with the loss to slide to 7-4 with six runs allowed, including five earned runs, in six innings. Angel Rincon fought through 2.2 innings of relief before Stefan Lopez finished the contest for his second RiverDogs save.
COMING UP: The finale of this four-game series and seven-game RiverDogs road trip will be on Tuesday at 7:05pm. Charleston RHP Andy Beresford (1-0, 4.87 ERA) will pitch against Asheville RHP Konner Wade (7-7, 3.71 ERA). The next homestand is scheduled for Thursday, July 31 through Sunday, August 3 against the Hagerstown Suns. Upcoming RiverDogs promotions include Gullah Heritage Night, Robert English’s Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame enshrinement, Rainbows Day, and postgame fireworks. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.