CHARLESTON S.C. - Charleston righty Shawn Semple struck out seven in a second straight quality start in his Riley Park debut, as the Charleston RiverDogs prevented the West Virginia Power from popping the proverbial champagne for at least another day with a 3-2 victory in front of 4,926 on Sunday evening.
As the RiverDogs (63-72, 30-37) eclipsed 300,000 fans for the second time in franchise history, Semple (2-0) made his encore appearance after delivering six scoreless innings with 10 punchouts in his RiverDogs debut at Columbia on August 27. The University of New Orleans product allowed both Power (71-61, 34-32) runs in the sixth but kept the one-run lead intact, wrapping up his brief RiverDogs season at 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings.
Charleston took the lead in the fourth on an RBI single from Leonardo Molina that plated first baseman Dermis Garcia and a throwing error from centerfielder Travis Swaggerty that allowed third baseman Chris Hess to cross as well.
An inning later, catcher Jerry Seitz hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right centerfield, pushing across an insurance tally in David Metzgar against West Virginia starter Oddy Nunez (1-1).
Alexander Vargas earned his fourth save with Dogs, pitching the final three innings scoreless with just one hit on his ledger and a pair of strikeouts.
With Sunday's results, West Virginia's magic number is one as a Labor Day victory or a Kannapolis Intimidators loss to the Hagerstown Suns will slot the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate into the final Northern Division playoff spot.
The RiverDogs can set a new attendance record in Labor Day's 2 p.m. season finale with 5,107 fans through the turnstiles.
It was the final Holy City Sunday down at The Joe where MUSC Kids Club members got in free, ate for free, and ran the bases postgame. The RiverDogs donned the Holy City pinstripes for one last time in 2018.
Charleston's season ends on Monday with first pitch starting at 2:05, broadcasting online only via MiLB.tv and streaming audio via the RiverDogs' TuneIn radio station. The RiverDogs will send right-hander Miguel Yajure (4-3, 3.62) to face West Virginia righty Sergio Cubilete (5-5, 5.23) in a potentially decisive game for the Power.
RiverDogs single-game tickets, including options to the Riley Park Club, are available for the season finale, capping the club's 25th season as the RiverDogs and their "175th season in dog years." There is also a one-day sale with $2 ticket options for the final game of the campaign. Ticket information can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.