ROME, GA - An incredible ninth-inning rally helped the Charleston RiverDogs take the Rome Braves into extra innings, but a wild pitch in the 12th inning gave the Braves a 5-4 walk-off win on Sunday afternoon at State Mutual Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs fell to 33-20 in the second half and 66-67 overall. The Braves advanced to 29-34 and 53-80, respectively. Rome won this three-game series by a 2-1 margin while Charleston took the season series, 11-9.
Extra-base hits drove Charleston to a 1-0 advantage during the top of the first inning. Tyler Wade ripped a one-out triple and scored during a two-out double from Yeicok Calderon.
Rome rattled off a two-out rally in the bottom of the first for a 3-1 Braves lead. Jacob Schrader extended the frame with a two-out double. Schrader scored on a Joey Meneses single that was coupled with an error. Carlos Franco singled to bring in Meneses for the go-ahead run. Franco came in on a single from Codey McElroy to cushion the advantage.
Rome's Steve Janas and Charleston's Rookie Davis settled in for shutout pitching after the opening frame. Davis nearly recorded a quality start, striking out six in 5.2 innings pitched. Janas tossed seven innings, benefitting from early double plays before retiring 13 straight batters at the end of his appearance.
Charleston miraculously scored three runs with two outs in the ninth to take a 4-3 lead. With the bases loaded, a wild pitch scored Calderon and left a pair of runners in scoring position. Brandon Thomas followed with a groundball up the third base line that was mishandled. Gosuke Katoh scored on the error, and Claudio Custodio escaped a rundown to score the go-ahead run.
The Braves managed to score a run in their half of the ninth to push the contest into extra innings. McElroy led off with a single and reached third base due to an error. Alejandro Piloto lifted a sacrifice fly that brought in McElroy and evened the score at 4-4.
Reed Harper scored the winning run in the 12th inning by taking advantage of a couple of wild pitches. Harper led off with a single and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. A one-out single from Connor Lien moved Harper to third base. After a strikeout, Harper won the contest by scoring on another wild pitch.
Rome's Andy Otero received the victory to even his record at 4-4. Charleston's Evan Rutckyj dropped to 4-3 with the loss. All three of his losses have come in walk-off fashion.
COMING UP: Charleston opens its final homestand on Tuesday at 7:05pm on Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. RiverDogs LHP Justin Kamplain (0-0, 3.86 ERA) will face Drive LHP Daniel McGrath (5-6, 4.27 ERA). The last Harris Teeter 2-for-$20 Date Night Tuesday features a $20 package for couples that includes two tickets, two tacos, two fountain drinks, and a nacho tray by presenting a VIC Card at the box office. The Harris Teeter Food Drive, benefitting the Lowcountry Food Bank, encourages fans to bring at least two non-perishable Harris Teeter brand food items to The Joe to receive a $2 discount on any individual ticket. 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/1mExr48