Since the Charleston Royals began play at College Park in 1980, minor league baseball has been a staple of the sports scene in Charleston. Since 1980, the Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees have called Charleston “home” for their prospects to develop and, hopefully, reach the Major League. This year, it is time for the Holy City’s team, the Charleston RiverDogs, to earn their first-ever league title in franchise history in their first postseason appearance since 2005.
Charleston RiverDogs, single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, will face the Rome Braves in Game 2 of the South Atlantic League Divisional Series at Joseph P. Riley Ballpark on Friday at 7:05 p.m.
GAME 1 RECAP:
On Wednesday night in Rome, GA, the RiverDogs were defeated 3-1 by the Braves. Rome leads the best-of-three series, 1-0. Pitcher Mike Soroka was awarded the victory after going for 7.2 innings.
The Braves went off on an early start in the first inning on Wednesday with Ronald Acuna securing two runs on a scoring triple along with a RBI groundout from Austin Riley. Jonathan Morales increased the Braves’ lead to 3-0 with a run in the fifth inning.
Charleston’s Hoy Jun Park also scored in the fifth inning but Charleston was unable to capitalize later in the game.
ON THE MOUND:
BRAVES: Koby Allard
19 year-old Koby Allard, a first-round draft selection by the Atlanta Braves in 2015, will be starting on the mound tonight for Rome. In 8 games pitched this season, the rookie left-hander has an ERA of 3.73, a 5-3 record, and has pitched a total of 60.1 innings – seventh most on the roster.
RIVERDOGS: Daris Vargas
Daris Vargas is statistically the fifth-highest ranked pitcher in the South Atlantic League this season. The right-handed pitcher and native of Azua, Dominican Republic is currently in his second season with Charleston and has an ERA of 2.95 and a 10-8 record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
BRAVES: Ray-Patrick Didder
Arguably one of the most skilled players on the Braves roster, centerfielder Ray-Patrick Didder has led the team in three categories this season: runs scored (95), batting average (.274), and stolen bases (95).
RIVERDOGS: Estevan Florial
Florial was recently assigned to the RiverDogs from the Pulaski Yankees on Sept. 1. Since making his debut against the Hagerstown Suns on the night of his reassignment to Charleston, he has four runs to close out the regular season. He scored the lone run on Wednesday night in Rome.
Tickets are on sale now for each of this weekend’s games on riverdogs.com and at the Joseph P. Riley Ballpark Box Office by calling (843)-577-3647. Every fan in attendance tonight will receive a gold playoff T-shirt and dollar beers will be for sale in the Ashley View Pub.