CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Charleston RiverDogs entered the ninth inning trailing the Down East Wood Ducks by three on Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. A late rally put the tying run at second base and the winning run on third with two outs, but Ryan Cermak lined out to left field as the Wood Ducks held on for a 3-1 win in front of 2.913 fans. The RiverDogs were set down in 1-2-3 fashion in seven of their nine innings at the plate.

With a strong wind blowing in from right-center field, scoring runs proved to be a challenge for much of the night. However, Down East (23-20, 60-44) managed to push one across early. Marcus Johnson walked Konner Piotto to open the second inning with a man on base. With one out, JoJo Blackmon ripped a double to the wall in center field that allowed Piotto to race all the way around with the game’s first run.

An unearned run doubled the lead in the sixth inning. Miguel Villaroel reached on a throwing error by Carlos Colmenarez with one out in the frame. After Johnson retired Piotto on a fly ball for the second out, he was removed in favor of Jack Hartman. The right-hander walked Quincy Scott to push a runner into scoring position and then Blackmon doubled the advantage with an RBI single.

Three consecutive hits against Drew Sommers in the eighth inning added to the Wood Ducks advantage. Gleider Figuereo and Villaroel opened the inning with singles, setting the table for Piotto to make it 3-0 with a ground-rule double down the left-field line.

When the ninth inning began, 16 consecutive RiverDogs (27-16, 54-55) had been retired. That number reached 17 when Jhon Diaz struck out to begin the final frame. However, the next three hitters all singled to load the bases with just one out. Down East went to the bullpen, calling on hard-throwing right-hander Adrian Rodriguez. The reliever struck out Xavier Isaac for the second out of the inning but walked Colton Ledbetter to force in a run. A 1-0 pitch to Cermak induced the line drive that ended the game.

Raudelis Martinez was the lone player for the RiverDogs with multiple hits. The catcher finished 2-3. Down East received two hits from both Blackmon and Figuereo.

Johnson took the loss, surrendering two runs, one earned, over 5.2 innings. He struck out six and scattered four hits. Hartman followed with 1.1 scoreless innings. Sommers was charged with one run on three hits in his lone stanza. Neraldo Catalina worked a scoreless top of the ninth.

Game two of the series will take place on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.