AUGUSTA, GA - Abiatal Avelino was responsible for all the Charleston RiverDogs offense with two runs scored and another batted in, but the Augusta GreenJackets claimed a 6-3 win on Friday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium in South Atlantic League action. The RiverDogs and GreenJackets are both 1-1 for the season with their series even at one game apiece. Charleston had won the series opener on Thursday.
Charleston scored in the first inning after benefitting from a rough start for Augusta's Luis Ysla. Avelino received a one-out walk from Ysla and made it home on a stolen base and two wild pitches for a 1-0 RiverDogs advantage.
The GreenJackets answered quickly and took a 2-1 lead in the home half of the first. Randy Ortiz walked and Brandon Bednar singled to put runners at the corners. After Charleston's Luis Severino induced a foul pop out, Ryan Tuntland hit a double that scored Ortiz and sent Bednar to third base. Bednar put Augusta in front by scoring on a wild pitch.
In the second inning, Augusta brought in another run with a double steal. Tyler Horan scored after Ortiz took off for second base, drawing a throw from RiverDogs catcher Luis Torrens. Horan's run put the GreenJackets ahead 3-1.
Avelino answered for Charleston during the third inning to cut the deficit to 3-2. Avelino led off the top of the frame with a walk and advanced to second on a Mike Ford single. A pair of wild pitches from Ysla plated Avelino and kept the contest close.
Augusta was quieted by RiverDogs reliever Jaron Long until the fifth inning when its lead improved to 6-2. Bednar came in on a Ryder Jones double, and Tuntland and Jones scored after an error.
The RiverDogs threatened the GreenJackets in the final inning. Gosuke Katoh took a leadoff walk and was on second base with two outs when Avelino singled to score Katoh and cut Augusta's lead to 6-3. Raymundo Montero came out of the bullpen to face Aaron Judge, who flew out to right field for the final out.
Matthew Lujan was credited with the victory. His record stands at 1-0 after firing four scoreless innings of relief. Severino is 0-1 after taking the loss. Montero earned his first save in the contest.
COMING UP: Game three of this four-game set is scheduled for 7:00pm on Saturday. The RiverDogs will start with RHP Giovanny Gallegos (0-0, 0.00) while the GreenJackets will counter with RHP Keury Mella (0-0, 0.00). Following the end of this series in Augusta, Charleston will return to The Joe for a seven-game homestand that starts on Monday, April 7. The RiverDogs host the Greenville Drive for Charleston's grand Opening Night celebration, complete with $1 hot dogs and $1 beers presented by Coors. 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 on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1ilrh7s