Gabe Encinas, Chaz Hebert, Chad Taylor, and Eric Ruth combined for a three-hit shutout in an 8-0 Charleston RiverDogs victory over the Greenville Drive on Wednesday in front of 4,984 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action. The RiverDogs had nine extra-base hits in the win, including a home run by Claudio Custodio.
Charleston rose to 34-31 in the second half and 67-68 overall. Greenville fell back to 23-42 and 57-77, respectively. This three-game series is also tied at 1-1.
Back-to-back-to-back extra-base hits sparked a RiverDogs rally late in the third inning. With two outs and Custodio at third base, Miguel Andujar tripled off Ty Buttrey to drive in Custodio for the first run. Andujar scored on a double from Yeicok Calderon. A triple by Brandon Thomas scored Calderon to give Charleston a 3-0 lead.
Encinas opened the shutout with a season-high four innings pitched. Encinas was perfect in three of his innings and stranded a pair of runners in the second inning during Greenville's only scoring threat against him. He also racked up a season-high six strikeouts.
After a scoreless inning from Hebert to start the fifth inning, Charleston pushed its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Wade led off with a double and scored during a double from Michael O'Neill. Andujar followed and brought in O'Neill on a single.
Custodio highlighted a three-run rally in the sixth inning with his first home run of the season. Gosuke Katoh singled against Myles Smith to start the inning. A stolen base and an error put Katoh on third base for Eduardo de Oleo, who singled to score Katoh. Following a fly out, Custodio crushed a two-run blast to left field that sent Charleston's advantage to 8-0.
Two scoreless innings from both Taylor and Ruth capped the RiverDogs shutout. Taylor kept Greenville hitless over his pair of frames. Ruth left runners at the corners in the eighth inning and recorded a perfect ninth inning to close the one-sided win.
Taylor was credited with the victory to improve to 4-2. Buttrey remained winless on the season and dropped to 0-5.
BALLPARK FUN: Larry Lipov received the 2014 T. Ashton Phillips Distinguished Service Award. This award, named after former RiverDogs co-owner and friend Ashton Phillips, is handed out annually to a deserving honoree that shares the same passion for the RiverDogs, the Lowcountry, and love for others that Phillips embodied. In recognition of Charleston's success against Greenville, its in-state rival, the RiverDogs were presented with the Spinx Rivalry Series Trophy while Tyler Wade was honored with the Larry Doby Award as Charleston's series MVP.
COMING UP: Charleston's regular season home finale is scheduled for 6:35pm on Thursday. RiverDogs RHP Luis Niebla (2-1, 2.76 ERA) will face Drive RHP Jamie Callahan (3-12, 6.58 ERA). 95SX presents the final Budweiser Thirsty Thursday while the RiverDogs will also host Fan Appreciation Night with special RiverDogs fan packs giveaways. College of Charleston Night features performances from the CofC dance team and Clyde the Cougar, plus pregame recognition of the CofC baseball team. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.