LEXINGTON, KY- Right fielder Steven Sensley launched two home runs in his first two-at bats, and the RiverDogs surged behind a five-run third to topple the Lexington Legends 7-3 in game two on Friday night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
The RiverDogs (64-53, 30-17) rode the longball as they matched a season-high with three homers as a team; left fielder Pablo Olivares also ripped a leadoff shot, his first of the season and second of his pro career, as part of the big third inning. After starter Alexander Vargas was knocked out of the game with a comebacker in the second, the bullpen carried the load with eight innings of two-run ball.
Sensley's two big flies marked the first multi-homer game for a RiverDogs hitter this year, and the second of the Lousiana-Lafayette product's pro career since being drafted in June; he now has 12 total between Pulaski and Charleston. Pablo Olivares was also sensational at the plate, going 4-for-4 for the first time in his career with three extra-base hits.
Lexington (54-62, 20-27) struck first and led it 1-0 after the first inning, but Sensley pulled the game back even with an opposite field leadoff shot to left-center in the second.
In the third, Olivares' blast gave Charleston their first lead. After Dom Thompson-Williams grounded out, Diego Castillo and Dalton Blaser ripped back-to-back hits to put runners at second and third. On the next play, designated hitter Isiah Gilliam hit a high chopper that landed between the first and second baseman and skipped off the glove Gabriel Cancel for a hit and an error that plated a run. Sensley roped a three-run no-doubter to right that made it 6-1 Charleston.
The RiverDogs padded the lead to the largest of the night, 7-1, when catcher Eduardo Navas' leadoff walk crossed the plate after a double by Olivares and an RBI groundout by Castillo in the sixth.
Lexington added single tallies in the sixth and seventh to cut the lead, but that would be as close as the Royals affiliate would come. Right fielder Khalil Lee ended an over one-month home run drought with his 14th of the year.
Hobie Harris (1-0) worked two scoreless innings after Vargas departed to pick up the win. Lexington starter Anthony Bender (4-5) was chased after three innings, allowing six runs on seven hits to suffer a loss.
The RiverDogs go for three-in-a-row against the Legends on Saturday night at 6:35 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Charleston will send righty Nick Green (7-8, 4.92) to toe the rubber. Lexington will oppose with right-hander and former first-round pick Nolan Watson (1-8, 7.43). The game can be tuned into on "The Big Talker" WTMA 1250 AM and online streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs' TuneIn Radio app station. Pregame coverage with "Saturday Dog Talk" starts at 6 ET.
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.