CHARLESTON, SC - Behind a pair of big hits from Zach Watson and Edison Lantigua, the Delmarva Shorebirds woke up late to salvage the finale over the Charleston RiverDogs, winning 4-1 on Tuesday night at Joe Riley Park.
Down 1-0 in the top of the eighth, Jean Carlos Encarnacion worked a one-out walk. He then stole second base and advanced to third on a bad throw from catcher Mickey Gasper, Charleston's fourth of five errors on the night. Johnny Rizer followed with another walk to bring up Watson, who clobbered a 2-1 pitch from closer Carlos Espinal off the wall in left field for a double. Encarnacion and Rizer both scored, putting the Shorebirds (28-16, 76-37) in front 2-1.
The trouble didn't stop there for the RiverDogs (12-24, 58-57). Espinal hit Ryne Ogren on the very next pitch, and Seamus Curran drew a full count walk to load the bases. Lantigua came up next and muscled a low liner through the right side for a two-run base hit, scoring Watson and Ogren to make it 4-1 Delmarva.
Delmarva reliever Ruben Garcia put up a scoreless eighth inning and battled through a tough Charleston turn in the ninth. Frederick Cuevas and Eduardo Torrealba led off with back-to-back singles from the eight- and nine-holes. Garcia then struck out Brandon Lockridge, but a passed ball on strike three let the runners advance to second and third. Canaan Smith then struck out, and Josh Stowers chopped a broken bat grounder to the left side that Ogren gloved from short and rifled to first, just in time to beat Stowers and put the game on ice.
Dallas Litscher (2-0) earned a win in relief for the Shorebirds, allowing an unearned run on six hits in five innings while walking two and striking out five. Tanner Myatt (3-3) was dealt the loss in relief for the RiverDogs as he was charged the first two runs in the eighth. Garcia's save was his third of the year and Delmarva's league-best 42nd.
After neither side could break through in five tension-filled innings, the RiverDogs capitalized on a woozy Delmarva battery in the sixth. Stowers led off with a single and advanced all the way to third on a passed ball. Litscher eventually threw wild to the plate, and Stowers jogged home with ease to put Charleston ahead 1-0.
The breakthrough was a unique instance for the RiverDogs, who stranded 11 men on base throughout the game. Despite notching just two hits through their first seven innings, the Shorebirds roared back to life in the eighth to win it.
Watson's two-run double was his fourth with the Shorebirds, giving him seven extra-base hits in his first 13 Delmarva games. Encarnacion and Nick Horvath each stole two bases, while Ogren reached three times on a walk and two HBPs.
Lockridge, Stowers, and Cuevas each managed two-hit games for the RiverDogs.
Delmarva's Adam Stauffer pitched two scoreless innings in his start, walking one and fanning two. Charleston's Luis Medina survived a few shaky innings to put up five scoreless in a no-decision, scattering two hits and walking two while striking out seven.
After a Wednesday off, the Shorebirds open up a seven-game homestand with the first of four against the Kannapolis Intimidators on Thursday night. Nick Vespi (7-5, 3.27) is slated to start for Delmarva against a Kannapolis starter to be determined. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00. The first 500 fans through the Perdue Stadum gates on Maryland Pride Thursday will receive a Shorebirds Maryland Pride hat presented by Spicer Bros. Construction, Inc. It's also KISS 95.9 Thirsty Thursday presented by Salisbury Pit & Pub. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer and Sam Jellinek on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.