LAKEWOOD, NJ - Luis Severino tossed a career-high 5.2 shutout innings, but the Charleston RiverDogs needed to break a ninth-inning tie with a three-run rally to take a 4-1 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Monday evening at FirstEnergy Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs climb up to 9-8 this season as the BlueClaws drop to 4-12. The win gives Charleston a 1-0 advantage in a three-game set, the only scheduled series between these teams.
Severino and Lakewood's Mark Leiter, Jr. opened with dueling shutout bids through the first three innings. Severino stranded a BlueClaws runner at third base in the second inning while Leiter allowed just two singles early in his outing.
Aaron Judge opened the scoring with a RiverDogs run in the top of the fourth. Judge hit a one-out triple to center field that was nearly a home run. Judge waited at third base through a pop out and scored on a wild pitch from Leiter for a 1-0 Charleston lead.
With a lead to protect, Severino's domination of the BlueClaws continued. Severino struck out a season-high eight BlueClaws in the longest outing of his career. He was replaced late in the sixth inning by Jaron Long with two outs and Carlos Tocci at third base following a triple. Long induced a Willians Astudillo groundout that kept the shutout intact.
However, Lakewood pushed across the tying run in the seventh to even the score at 1-1. Andrew Pullin opened the frame with a single and scored from first base on a two-out double by Gabriel Lino. That score also knocked Severino out of a potential win. Severino allowed no walks and just three hits in a shutout start but did not factor in the decision.
In their last at bat, the RiverDogs picked up the winning runs. Michael O'Neill pushed Charleston ahead 2-1 in the ninth inning by scoring on a wild pitch. Eduardo de Oleo added some insurance with a two-run home run, his second blast of the season.
Jaron Long was credited with the victory and improved to 2-1 this season. Long was relieved by Nick Rumbelow, who pitched a scoreless inning for his third save of the year. Lakewood's Ulises Joaquin took the loss and is 0-1 after Charleston's late rally.
COMING UP: Game two of this three-game series is scheduled for 6:35pm on Tuesday evening at FirstEnergy Park. RiverDogs RHP Giovanny Gallegos (0-2, 5.65 ERA) will face BlueClaws RHP Tyler Viza (1-2, 3.71 ERA). Starting on Tuesday, April 29, the RiverDogs will host a seven-game homestand at The Joe. Harris Teeter 2-for-$20 Date Night Tuesday, presented by Nash FM 96.9, offers a great deal with two tickets, two tacos, two fountain drinks, and one nacho tray for just $20 for couples that show their VIC card at the box office! 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.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1jsw5XP