LAKEWOOD, N.J. - For the second straight game, the Charleston RiverDogs trailed heading into the ninth inning but found a way to win. Centerfielder Blake Rutherford cracked a go-ahead two-run homer that lifted the RiverDogs to a 2-1 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws and extended Charleston to a season-high five-game winning streak on Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Park.
With two outs and a man on first, the RiverDogs found themselves trailing and down to their final out, just like the night before. The Yankees' first-rounder got a 1-0 pitch he liked, and drove it over the left field wall for the 18th overall pick's second of the season and the fifth of his career.
The game-winning homer was part of a 2-for-4 afternoon for the Simi Valley, Calif. native who extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. The comeback victory marked just fourth time Charleston came back to win a ballgame they trailed after eight innings, and the second in as many games. The five straight road wins is also a season-best run.
Charleston starter Rony Garcia and BlueClaws hurler Adonis Medina with both superb with the young Dominican arms each turning in six shutout frames. The RiverDogs' 19-year-old righty struck out four and allowed just one hit while pitching around three walks in a no-decision effort that lowered his ERA to 1.69 through three starts with Charleston.
Lakewood didn't break open the scoreless tie until the seventh when left fielder David Martinelli roped a leadoff homer to right to make it 1-0 BlueClaws, one of just three hits on the day from the Phillies farm club.
After not being available to pitch on Friday, the BlueClaws called on All-Star closer Will Hibbs to finish the game in the ninth. The right-hander blew just his second save of the year after previously only allowing 11 hits and no home runs through his first 38 2/3 innings. New Jersey native Ben Ruta singled to lead off the ninth frame and start the rally.
David Sosebee picked up his fifth save of the season with a perfect 1-2-3 ninth inning to pin down the victory.
The RiverDogs go for their sixth straight win as they go for the sweep of the BlueClaws in a Monday morning finale at 11:05am. The RiverDogs will roll out right-hander Adonis Rosa (3-2, 3.46) to be opposed by Lakewood southpaw Nick Fanti (6-2, 2.80). The game can be tuned in online streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs TuneIn Radio app station.
RiverDogs tickets, including options for the all-new Riley Park Club, are now available and can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at riverdogs.com/tickets. Those that can't make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area or by streaming online at riverdogs.com and the TuneIn Radio App by searching "RiverDogs." All 70 RiverDogs home games are available with online streaming video at MiLB.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.