Hawkins' blast propels Dash to twin bill sweep

Rehabbing outfielder goes deep in seventh inning

Courtney Hawkins provided all of the Dash's offense in Saturday's sweep. (Jody Stewart/Winston-Salem Dash)

By Winston-Salem Dash | June 17, 2017 8:07 PM ET

BUIES CREEK, N.C. (June 17, 2017) - Thanks to a dramatic two-run homer by Courtney Hawkins in the seventh and final inning of regulation, the Dash defeated Buies Creek 2-1 and clinched a doubleheader sweep on Saturday at Jim Perry Stadium.

After plating the only runs of Winston-Salem's 2-0 win in the opener, Hawkins came up big again with the Dash down to their final two outs. With the Dash trailing 1-0, the 23-year-old rehabbing outfielder smacked a two-run homer against Buies Creek starter Franklin Perez (3-1). Luis Basabe also scored on the big fly after reaching on an error to begin the frame.

Meanwhile, the pitching trio of Ryan RigaDrew Hasler and Jack Charleston (1-1) shined against the Astros (36-33). Following Dane Dunning's complete-game shutout in Saturday's opener, the three pitchers combined to allow four hits and one run while striking out five batters in seven innings of work.

Making his first start of the season and sixth as a professional, Riga was almost flawless. The left-hander faced the minimum in his three innings of work, with his lone hit later erased on a double play. The former Ohio State product struck out three.

After Hasler tossed a perfect inning in the fourth, the Astros broke through in the fifth with the game's first run. Leading off the frame, Spencer Johnson hammered a triple off the wall in left. On the next pitch, Ryne Birk lined an RBI single to right to give Buies Creek the lead.

Hasler limited the damage after that, and Charleston picked up the victory by tossing two shutout frames. Charleston has not allowed a run in his last six appearances spanning 8.1 innings of work.

Before Saturday's doubleheader, Winston-Salem (24-45) had dropped 10 straight road games, the longest such streak in the Dash era (2009-present). However, the Dash bounced back in style by earning their first doubleheader sweep of the season.

The Dash wrap up their first half slate on Sunday at 2 p.m. against the Buies Creek Astros. Winston-Salem sends right-hander Luis Martinez (0-2, 12.27 ERA) to the bump in the series finale, while the Astros' starter has yet to be announced. Pregame coverage begins at 1:45 p.m. on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App.

The second half of the Dash's 2017 season is loaded with promotions. The Dash kick off their second half with a four-game series against the Buies Creek Astros from June 22 to June 25. This four-game homestand includes a Lowes Foods Thirsty Thursday, Fireworks Friday, Chick-fil-A Four Pack Night and three Kids Run the Bases opportunities, powered by New Balance Winston-Salem.

Also, local product Josh Hawkins, a Glenn High School native who now plays for the Green Bay Packers, will make a special appearance at Friday's game. For tickets and more information, call the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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