Charleston, SC- Chandler Simpson collected three hits and forced the Delmarva Shorebirds into a pair of throwing errors as the Charleston RiverDogs earned a 5-1 victory in the series-opener Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. The game was played in front of 3,014 fans. Simpson also stole two bases, taking sole possession of the league lead in that category.
A trio of RiverDogs pitchers were also extremely effective, limiting Delmarva (17-15) to a lone run on seven singles. Dominic Keegan played a large part as well, catching three runners stealing. Yoniel Curet started and worked a season-high 4.0 scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Jake Christianson earned the win with 4.0 quality innings out of the pen. He allowed the only run for the Shorebirds on an RBI fielder’s choice in the seventh. Alex Cook slammed the door by striking out the side in the ninth.
The RiverDogs (14-20) started off slowly, with one baserunner through three innings, but reached the board in the fourth. Simpson opened the inning by smashing a ball off pitcher Wyatt Cheney’s glove. Cheney eventually collected the ball and threw wildly to first, allowing Simpson to advance to second. A walk to Keegan followed and Carlos Colmenarez put the RiverDogs on top with a run-scoring to right field. Cooper Kinney hit a sacrifice fly to left field that was dropped by Stiven Acevedo to make it 2-0.
With two outs in the fifth, Christopher Barete collected a base hit to left and advanced to second via wild pitch. With Simpson at the plate, a repeat performance of the previous inning occurred. The center fielder hit a ball back to the mound and Cesar Alvarez bobbled it, before throwing wildly to first as Barete raced home.
Following Delmarva’s tally in the seventh, the RiverDogs entered the last of the eighth in search of insurance for their lead. That is exactly what they found, as Barete opened the inning with a triple to the left field wall. Simpson followed with a line drive single to center that increased the lead to 4-1. Later in the frame, Kinney added an RBI single of his own to reach the final margin.
Joining Simpson with multiple hits in the RiverDogs lineup were Kinney and Barete. Delmarva was paced by the two hits of Elio Prado and Carter Young. Simpson has reached base safely in 16 consecutive games and 28 of 29 this season.