KINSTON, N.C. — Four pitchers combined to limit the Down East Wood Ducks to five hits as the Charleston RiverDogs earned their 82nd win of the season by a 6-0 score on Saturday night at Grainger Stadium.
The teams will meet one final time in the regular-season finale on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Down East (71-48) will join the RiverDogs in the postseason with a win and a Salem loss. A RiverDogs victory or a win by the Red Sox will result in Charleston and Salem battling for the title.
The shutout was the team’s 15th of the season, the second-most in all of Minor League Baseball. The RiverDogs opponent in the Low-A East Championship Series will be determined on Sunday.
Starting pitcher Luis Moncada earned the victory by tossing 5.0 innings during which he allowed just one hit. The southpaw improved to 8-1 and lowered his earned run average to 2.79. Nomar Rojas followed in relief and tossed a pair of scoreless frames, scattering four hits in the process. Ian Leatherman and Andrew Gross both stuck out a pair in scoreless innings to close out the game.
The RiverDogs (82-37) grabbed the lead in the second inning when Ben Troike led off with a base hit up the middle. The next two hitters were retired, but with two outs Johan Lopez singled to center field and Troike advanced to third. Another two-out base hit from Luis Leon scored the runner from third to put the RiverDogs in front 1-0. Lopez was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Returning to the roster earlier in the day, Osleivis Basabe made an impact immediately by opening the third inning with a double. He was joined on base by Tanner Murray who was hit on the wrist by a pitch. Murray was unable to stay in the game and was replaced by Alexander Ovalles. Following a fielder’s choice groundout by Beau Brundage, Garrett Hiott walked to load the bases. Another base on balls, this time to Basabe, forced in another run and made the score 2-0. The RiverDogs added one more run with an infield single from Jonathan Embry before the inning came to a conclusion.
Matt Dyer began a two-out rally in the fourth with a base hit to center. He quickly raced to third on a single by Ovalles and scored on an infield hit by Beau Brundage to make it 4-0. The final damage in the game was done by Hiott, who smacked a two-run home run in the seventh inning off of reliever Connor Sechler.
The RiverDogs received at least one hit from all ten players that played in the game. Basabe, Brundage and Troike each collected two hits, while Hiott paced the team with three runs batted in.
LHP Franklin Dacosta (3-0, 2.65) will start the finale for the RiverDogs. The Wood Ducks will put their fate in the hands of RHP Owen White (2-1, 3.51).