RELEASE – With an announced crowd of 3,457 on Thursday night, the Charleston RiverDogs set a new franchise record for attendance as Luis Dorante’s side cruised past the Suns, 8-2, in Thursday night’s home regular season finale at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
The RiverDogs have now welcomed in 293,161 fans through the turnstiles at The Joe this year after their final home game, surpassing the previous record of 292,661 set in 2015.
Charleston (74-61, 32-34) opened up an early lead, 7-0, over the Suns (80-56, 37-29) after two innings, capitalizing on a shaky start from Hagerstown righty Jefry Rodriguez (7-11, 4.96) who would walk seven in just 1.2 innings.
In the first, infielders Hoy Jun Park and Mandy Alvarez drew back-to-back walks with one out to bring Jhalan Jackson to the plate. The RiverDogs right fielder hit a tailor made double play ball to short that was thrown into foul territory by Suns second baseman Jake Noll to allow Park to score on the error. After center fielder Estevan Florial walked, catcher Luis Torrens added an RBI single to push the RiverDogs out to a 2-0 lead.
In the second, the RiverDogs sent ten men to the plate to put up a five spot and chase Rodriguez from the game. Jackson drove in a pair with an RBI single and Florial smoked a triple to the left field corner in his first official at-bat as a RiverDog to help extend Charleston’s lead to 7-0.
In the fourth, Florial continued his red hot start, smashing a first pitch over the right field wall for a home run. The 18-year-old outfielder finished going 2-for-4 with the pair of extra-base hits and a walk in his first game with the club.
Hagerstown broke up the shutout in the seventh, scoring two runs unearned off of Greg Weissert on a throwing error by Park after a double to left by Hagerstown left fielder Telmito Agustin.
Right-hander Adonis Rosa (2-5, 2.86) picked up the win for Charleston after working six scoreless innings and allowing four hits while striking out five.
RiverDogs second baseman Kyle Holder continued his hot streak, going 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot to raise his season average to .285, the highest it’s been since June 6.
Charleston’s lineup drew eight walks in the game, one shy of their season-high while the seven issued by Rodriguez in the start was a season-high set for a RiverDogs opponent.
The RiverDogs ended the regular season home schedule with a bang, hosting a postgame fireworks show on Fan Appreciation Night at The Joe. The club gave away commemorative records to the fans after eclipsing the attendance record on the final Budweiser Thirsty Thursday of the season. RiverDogs first baseman Chris Gittens was also honored as the “Top Dog” of the 2016 season with the Texas slugger’s banner raised alongsdie the other great names in RiverDogs history including Josh Hamilton, Phil Hughes, Delmon Young, and Jorge Mateo.
Before postseason play begins, the RiverDogs finish out the regular season with a four-game road trip in Columbia, taking on the Fireflies in Friday night’s opener at 7:05pm from Spirit Communications Park. Charleston will send RHP Nick Green (3-0, 1.06) in the opener to face Columbia’s RHP Chase Ingram (8-9, 4.57). The game will be broadcast on WTMA 1250 AM and online at riverdogs.com. The Charleston open up the playoffs on Wednesday, September 7 on the road facing either the Augusta GreenJackets or Rome Braves.
Ticket information for the RiverDogs’ playoff games can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at http://www.riverdogs.com. Tickets for Game Two of the SAL Divisional Series on Friday, September, 9 at 7:05pm are now available. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at riverdogs.com.