GREENVILLE, SC - Tyler Wade had a career-high four hits and three runs scored, carrying the Charleston RiverDogs in a 6-2 win against the Greenville Drive on Tuesday night at Fluor Field at the West End in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston improves to 5-7 this season while Greenville is now 7-5. The RiverDogs are also guaranteed a series victory in this three-game set with Wednesday's finale providing an opportunity for a Charleston sweep.
The RiverDogs grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Mike Ford's sacrifice fly brought in Wade for the first run. Miguel Andujar followed with a double that drove in Aaron Judge from first base to give Charleston a two-run advantage.
Michael O'Neill opened the bottom of the first with his second diving catch in left field in as many days. That play sparked a good start from Charleston's Luis Severino, who posted three no-run, no-hit innings to begin his appearance.
While Severino held the Drive scoreless, Wade continued to drive the RiverDogs offense. Wade doubled in the third inning to score Abiatal Avelino, and he later scored himself on a single by Judge for a 4-0 lead. Wade struck again in the fourth, giving the RiverDogs a 5-0 edge with a bases-loaded infield single.
Errors put Greenville on the scoreboard and helped chase Severino off the mound. Kevin Mager walked and reached third base on a Tim Roberson single that was coupled with an error. Manuel Margot hit into a force out to score Mager and bring the Drive within 5-1. A potential inning-ending force out led to an error and a pitching change. Jaron Long came in and finished the frame with scoreless work to keep control of the RiverDogs lead.
Wade answered in his next opportunity during the sixth inning to bring Charleston's lead to 6-1. A two-out base hit and a stolen base put Wade in scoring position for Judge. Wade touched home after a Judge single to answer Greenville's recent run.
In a career performance, Wade collected two doubles and two singles for a personal-best four hits. He also tied a career high with three runs scored while driving in two runs as well.
Greenville was able to add a run in the eighth. Long struck out Roberson but a wild pitch on the third strike allowed Jantzen Witte to score, which trimmed the RiverDogs lead to 6-2. However, that is as close as the Drive came.
Long earned a relief victory after pitching the final 5.1 innings of the game and striking out eight. Long's record improves to 1-1. Drive starting pitcher Jamie Callahan is 0-2 after taking the loss.
COMING UP: The finale of this three-game series is a match-up between RiverDogs RHP Giovanny Gallegos (0-2, 5.79 ERA) and Drive RHP Pat Light (2-0, 2.25 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm. After the road series, Charleston will return to the Lowcountry and host a three-game set against the Rome Braves that starts on Thursday, April 17 at 7:05pm at The Joe. Thursday's homestand opener will be another Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX, complete with DJ Natty Heavy, $1 drafts, and a Wild Wing Café wing-eating contest in the Ashley View Pub. The Dunder Chiefs will perform a postgame concert adjacent to the Beer Garden thanks to Palmetto Brewery and Awendaw Green. 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/1kvdX3s