CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs scored four runs in the final two innings, but stranded the bases loaded to the end the game and fell 5-4 to the Rome Braves on Sunday evening in South Atlantic League action in front of 5,217 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in the penultimate game of the season.
With the loss, the RiverDogs drop to 35-34 in the second half and 74-63 overall. The Braves improve to 37-32 in second half play and 73-65 overall with the victory.
Rome jumped on Charleston's starter Eric Wooten early scoring three runs on four hits and a hit batter in the top of the first inning.
In the top of the third, the Braves plated another run thanks to a single, a walk, and two errors to push their lead to 4-0.
Wooten finished with a final line of six innings, four runs, three earned, six hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. He got tagged with the loss to fall to 2-3.
Charleston couldn't get anything going offensively because Lucas Sims was dominant on the mound for the Braves. Sims gave up just five hits and didn't walk anybody in five shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He earned the win to finish his season 12-4.
The RiverDogs' third error of the game and a base hit led to another run for Rome in the top of the eighth to advance their lead to 5-0.
That's when the Dogs finally got the bats going. A single by Jake Cave and a double by Ty Afenir had runners at second and third with out. A wild pitch brought Cave home, then a base hit by Dante Bichette, Jr. scored Afenir to make it a 5-2 contest.
In the ninth inning, Charleston really made it interesting. Danny Oh led the inning off with a walk. Then back-to-back one out singles by Wes Wilson and Fu-Lin Kuo brought Oh across the plate. Jake Cave then got hit by a pitch to load the bases and move the tying to second base. A wild pitch scored Wilson to make it 5-4. Then with the game on the line, Dante Bichette, Jr. flew out to left field to end the game.
John Brebbia tossed the final three innings for Charleston and allowed one unearned run on four hits to finish up his year.
BALLPARK FUN: It was Irish Heritage Night at the ballpark with the Irish National Anthem playing before first pitch, Irish music and dancing before and during the game, and PA announcer Ken Carrington even donned a kilt for the occasion!
COMING UP: The final game of the season is Monday night at 6:05 at Riley Park! Charleston will start RHP Rookie Davis (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Rome will counter with RHP Wes Parsons (7-7, 2.78 ERA). We will end the night with a fantastic season finale fireworks show! Come out for the last supper featuring $1 hot dogs and $1 draft beers of always smooth Keystone Light. Fans can purchase tickets at www.riverdogs.com, over the phone at 843/723-7241, or in-person at the Riley Park Box Office. Fans may also listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/17xIhC8