Mark Payton’s first professional hit drove in the first run of a three-run Charleston RiverDogs rally in a 3-1 victory against the Rome Braves on Sunday in front of 3,077 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs are now 5-13 in the second half and 38-50 this season. The Braves drop to 4-14 and 28-60, respectively. Charleston won this three-game series by a 2-1 margin.
Rome’s Matt Marksberry and Charleston’s Chaz Hebert matched zeroes through six scoreless innings. Marksberry yielded a walk in the first inning and a single in the second before he retired 15 consecutive batters through the end of the sixth. Hebert gave up two hits, stranding a runner at third base in the third inning. Hebert completed 6.2 shutout innings and was relieved by Cale Coshow, who closed the top of the seventh with a strikeout.
Payton and the RiverDogs rallied in the bottom of the seventh to take a 3-0 lead. Dustin Fowler singled and Miguel Andujar walked to open the inning. Reliever Brady Feigl came in and induced a pop out for the first out. Payton responded with a single to score Fowler and put Charleston in front. After a strikeout, Jackson Valera and Gosuke Katoh each drove in runs with singles of their own, giving the RiverDogs a three-run advantage.
In the eighth inning, Rome broke up the shutout. Coshow set down the first two batters but left the game with a 3-1 count against Carlos Sanchez. The RiverDogs brought in Philip Walby who gave up a single to Sanchez and a walk to Connor Lien. Sanchez scored on a Reed Harper single and cut the Braves deficit to two.
Walby closed out the eighth inning and pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close the win. Payton was the only player to score and drive in a run, going 1-for-3 in his second professional game.
Coshow picked up his first professional victory and is 1-1 after a scoreless inning of relief. Marksberrry remains winless with Rome, taking the loss to drop to 0-6. Walby recorded his fifth save of the season.
BALLPARK FUN: In-game entertainment was provided by the Fur Circus, a traveling troupe of mascots that performs at professional sporting events. Celebrity “Smokin’ Chef” Justin Moore worked at the RiverDogs’ new meat smoker, preparing a Classic Carolina pulled pork sandwich. Following their victory, the RiverDogs signed autographs for fans while wearing their snappy seersucker uniforms, a regular postgame event after Sunday home games.
COMING UP: Charleston starts a three-game series against the Greenville Drive on Monday at 7:05pm. RiverDogs LHP Ian Clarkin (3-3, 3.49 ERA) will face Drive RHP Myles Smith (3-5, 6.13 ERA). Coors and Z93 Jamz present Dollar Dogs and Beers Night in the Ashley View Pub. All-Lowcountry Softball and Baseball Night, sponsored by The Post and Courier, honors the best local softball and baseball players. Dogs with a Cause will support Camp Good Times. 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.
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