CHARLESTON, SC – The Charleston RiverDogs offense was kept in check all night long with just one hit on the ledger as Charleston fell 2-0 to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the inaugural “Battle of the Beaches” exhibition game opener on Wednesday evening at The Joe.
RiverDogs hitters were enticed into 15 strikeouts by a dominant duo of Pelican pitchers who combined for 9.0 innings of one hit ball. Cubs prospect Jake Stinnett logged 4.0 perfect innings and struck out six to pick up the win. Tommy Thorpe closed out the ballgame with 5.0 strong innings, allowing just one hit with a pair of walks and nine strikeouts.
The RiverDogs reached base just three times in the ballgame and were hitless going into the eighth before Thairo Estrada broke up the no-hit bid with a two out double to left field. Kyle Holder reached on a walk to lead off the sixth but was caught stealing on a rundown to end the inning. Jeff Hendrix’s one out walk in the seventh would also prove fruitless for Charleston.
When Charleston’s offense reeled, the RiverDogs pitching staff shined on the unofficial Opening Night. Clemson grad Brody Koerner notched 4.0 innings of three hit ball while adding a pair of strikeouts with just one walk but picked up the loss. The right hander allowed his lone run on a single by Jeffrey Baez in the second.
Simon De la Rosa went 3.0 innings out of the bullpen while allowing just a run in his Charleston debut. Cody Carroll pitched 2.0 perfect innings in his first game in a RiverDogs uniform.
The Pelicans got on the board early when Jason Vosler drew a one out walk in the second to put the first baserunner of the ballgame aboard. Vosler swiped second before he was driven home on a single by Baez that dropped in front of the left fielder, Kendall Coleman.
After leading off the inning with a double, Vosler came around to score a second time in the seventh. With one out, Jeffrey Baez reached on an infield single on a hard hit ground ball off the mitt of Angel Aguilar. Charcer Burks banged a single to right with two away to drive home the Pelicans’ second run.
The RiverDogs threatened with a Estrada’s two out double in the home half of the eighth, but Coleman was rung up on a called third strike to dash the RiverDogs’ hopes of a comeback.
While the RiverDogs couldn’t come up with a “W,” it was still a great night out at the ballpark with over $10,000 raised to benefit the Shawn Jenkins MUSC Children’s Hospital.
The night kicked off with a Star Spangled Banner rendition from national recording artist Edwin McCain in front of a crowd of 2,240.
The game was also highlighted by a special moment for generous donor and Benefitfocus CEO Shawn Jenkins who appeared in the ballgame as the three-spot hitter in the first inning. Jenkins struck out in his only plate appearance facing Stinnett, but addressed the Riley Park crowd to thank everyone for their donations on the night of giving.
The ballgame was the first of a home and home series with the Pelicans, with Myrtle Beach set to host the 2017 opener with an exhibition at TicketReturn.com Field next season.
The RiverDogs, the Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, officially begin their season – the 20th in their history at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park – with Opening Night tomorrow on April 7 as they welcome the newest members of the South Atlantic League, the Columbia Fireflies. RHP Domingo Acevedo (NR, 0.00) will face off against RHP Chase Ingram (NR, 0.00) with the first pitch slated for 7:05pm. For those that can’t make it out to the ballpark, the game can be heard on WTMA 1250 AM and online atriverdogs.com.
Tomorrow’s Opening Night festivities begins a seven-game homestand that features in-state rival Columbia Fireflies (April 7-10) and the Asheville Tourists (April 11-13). Ticket information may be secured by contact the box office at (843)577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.