Culver, RiverDogs turn triple play

Yankees affiliate escapes bases-loaded jam in third inning

Cito Culver went 1-for-4 and accounted for two outs in the third. (Kevin Pataky/

By Danny Wild / | April 19, 2012 7:57 PM ET

As if the second triple play turned this week wasn't quite enough, Thursday's Charleston RiverDogs win also featured a grand slam, 17 combined runs, a pitching appearance by a former Indian reality TV show winner and a post-\game midget wrestling showdown.

Sometimes the details of game just don't show up on first glance in the box score. The triple play, predictably, wasn't your routine bases-loaded, inning-ending rally-killer either.

Long story short, West Virginia, the Pirates' Class A affiliate, loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning at Charleston -- Jonathan Schwind, Kirk Singer and Alen Hanson lined consecutive singles off RiverDogs reliever Daniel Mahoney to bring up Jodaneli Carvajal.

Carvajal lined a ball to shortstop Cito Culver, who then stepped on second to double off Singer for two outs. Culver attempted to catch Schwind at first, but his throw went past first baseman Casey Stevenson, who recovered and threw home to catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez wasn't able to tag out Hanson, so he threw to third baseman Anderson Feliz, who stepped on third for the final out.

Simple, right? Score it 6-3-2-5. Yankees affiliate Charleston hung on to win, 9-8.

This wasn't the first triple play of the week -- Class A Advanced Wilmington turned the first one of the season two days ago, when a strikeout and a failed double steal got the Blue Rocks out of a jam.

West Virginia endured another headache with the bases loaded in the fifth, this time on the mound when Angelo Gumbs cranked a grand slam to spark a six-run rally. Tyler Austin added an RBI single and scored on first baseman Jose Osuna's throwing error to cut the deficit to 7-6.

Rinku Singh came on to stop the bleeding that frame, striking out Culver for the final out. Singh, the only Indian player in professional baseball, signed a contract with the Pirates when he and runnerup Dinesh Patel entered an Indian reality television show, "The Million Dollar Arm" in 2008 in a quest to become professional pitchers. Singh beat out over 37,000 contestants and won $100,000 with his 87-mph fastball. The left-hander, who struck out three and allowed a run over 1 1/3 innings, has at least one strikeout in every appearance this season.

Gumbs and Mason Williams gave the RiverDogs two important runs in the eighth with sacrifice flies. Power outfielder Josh Bell, the Pirates' second-round pick last year, hit a leadoff double and scored in the ninth, but Schwind struck out swinging following a double steal to end the game.

Fans not quite fully entertained by the action on the field Thursday then had the opportunity to stick around for the "Half Pint Brawlers," a bout between Puppet and Smallz, two midget wrestlers. The pair took part in between-inning entertainment sketches during the game as well.

"We're always excited to have wrestling return to The Joe," said RiverDogs general manager Dave Echols, "and that the card features the small guys makes it twice as big."

Danny Wild is an editor for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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