Claudio Custodio's leadoff single provided a great start for the Charleston RiverDogs on Monday afternoon, but the Augusta GreenJackets retired the next 22 batters in a row and grabbed a 2-0 three-hit shutout at Lake Olmstead Stadium in the South Atlantic League regular season finale. The contest was played at a brisk pace of one hour and 54 minutes.
Charleston ended the year by going 38-32 in the second half and 71-69 overall. Augusta finished at 28-42 and 62-76, respectively. The RiverDogs went 10-9 against the GreenJackets this season and won this four-game series by a 3-1 margin.
The GreenJackets scored in the second and third innings for a 2-0 advantage. Jeremy Sy lifted a solo home run to left field against Charleston's Gabe Encinas in the second inning. It was Sy's 13th blast of the year. After two quick outs in the third, Ty Ross hit a single to extend the inning. Rafael Rodriguez was hit by a pitch ahead of Craig Massoni, who doubled to bring in Ross.
Luis Ysla's short but successful start set the tone for Augusta. Ysla retired nine straight batters after Custodio's game-opening single. He was replaced early after he slid past Greensboro Grasshopper Domingo German to secure the Sally League's pitching title. Ysla's three shutout frames gave him a league-best ERA of 2.45, topping German's mark of 2.48.
Carlos Diaz followed Ysla with four perfect innings of relief. Diaz also matched Ysla with a team-best four strikeouts in his longest relief appearance in almost one month.
Charleston snapped its hitless stretch in the eighth inning against Michael Connolly. A groundout extended Charleston's drought to 22 straight batters retired, but Eduardo de Oleo doubled to give the RiverDogs some hope. However, back-to-back outs closed the scoring threat. Connolly was followed by Nick Jones, who kept the RiverDogs scoreless in the ninth inning.
The RiverDogs also had solid relief pitching in the season finale. Conor Mullee yielded a walk as his only blemish in 2.1 shutout innings. Chad Taylor tossed two perfect innings behind Mullee.
Diaz picked up the victory and evened his record at 6-6. Encinas finished a winless season with a loss and fell to 0-4. Jones took his first save with the GreenJackets to end the year.
COMING UP: This season is over for the RiverDogs, but Charleston did finish the 2014 campaign with a winning record of 71-69. The 2015 season will begin at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park as the RiverDogs are scheduled to host a seven-game homestand that starts with Opening Day on Thursday, April 9. 2015 RiverDogs season tickets are on sale now. Call the RiverDogs at (843) 723-7241 for more information or to secure your season tickets today.