CHARLESTON, SC - The Hickory Crawdads knocked off the RiverDogs 3-1 in game one and came back to defeat the 'Dogs by a 5-4 final in game two in front of 2,811 at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
With the losses, the RiverDogs drop to 20-15 in the second half and 59-44 overall. Charleston sits two games behind the Lexington Legends for first place in the Southern Division. With the victories, the Crawdads improve to 21-16 in the second half and 60-47 overall.
Game one was scoreless until the third inning when both offenses awoke. Hickory got things started with run in the top of the third inning. Lewis Brinson drew a walk and advanced to second on a fielder's choice and an error by shortstop Cito Culver in the very next at-bat. Two batters later Brinson scored on a sacrifice fly by Hirotoshi Onaka.
Charleston struck for a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth but stranded a golden opportunity ending the inning with the bases loaded.
Hickory took it from there scoring two runs in the sixth to secure the game one victory.
Cody Ege (2-0) took the win in relief of starter Luis Parra. Ege went three innings and struckout six on two hits.
Derek Varnadore (0-3) took the loss in game one in relief of starter Luis Severino. Varnadore lasted 2.1 innings and allowed two runs on three hits.
In game two, Ryan Rua got the scoring started with a solo blast, his league leading 29th of the season.
Charleston struck back with two runs of their own on a Wes Wilson single that scored Daniel Aldrich and Angelo Gumbs. The 'Dogs scored two more runs in the sixth and went to the top of the seventh with a three run lead.
In the top of the seventh, the Hickory bats got to RiverDogs closer Ben Paullus and scored four times to come out victorious 5-4.
Ben Paullus (6-3) took the loss in relief of starter Cesar Vargas as he allowed two runs in his one inning of work.
Jose Valdespina (3-1) picked up the win for the Crawdads in game two. Jose Monegro picked up his second save in the comeback win for Hickory.
BALLPARK FUN: Charleston fans got to see a game that started on Monday night and ended just shy of 1:00 AM on Tuesday morning.
COMING UP: Game three of this four game set is Tuesday evening back at The Joe with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. Charleston will send LHP Evan Rutckyj (8-6, 4.67 ERA) to the mound as Hickory counters with RHP Connor Sadzeck (9-3, 2.51 ERA). Tickets for Tuesday's game may be purchased by visiting www.riverdogs.com or by calling (843) 577-3647. You can listen to each and every game live locally on ESPN 910 AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.
Box Score Game 1: http://atmilb.com/13qUuFK
Box Score Game 2: http://atmilb.com/1c8Ox8V