RiverDogs extend winning streak to seven with 11-5 triumph at Kannapolis


Kannapolis, North Carolina – The Charleston RiverDogs beat the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers en route to an 11-5 victory on Friday night at the Atrium Health Ballpark. The victory was the seventh in a row for the RiverDogs, tying their longest winning streak of the season.

Charleston has scored 45 points in the first four games of the series. For the second night in a row, Curtis Mead opened the scoring with a solo homerun early in the first set.

The long ball was his seventh of the year and third in the series. The lead was short lived as Kannapolis’s Cabarea Weaver threw a three-point shot at Jose Lopez in the second quarter to push the Cannon Ballers into the lead 3-1. The RiverDogs (35-15) tied the game in the fourth when Nick Schnell lined up a single with two strikeouts and two RBIs down the middle to tie the game at 3-3.

The game turned in the sixth, when the RiverDogs battled a pair of relievers. Brett Wisely started off with a brace and then scored on a sacrifice volley from Heriberto Hernandez. With two strikeouts, Rigo Fernandez and Homer Cruz combined to walk the next three hitters, charging goals for Michael Berglund. The receiver cleared them with a three RBI double in the left center gap that put the lead to 7-3.

Alika Williams followed with an RBI single that made it 8-3. With two on goals and two strikeouts in the eighth, Mead hit again with a straight-line single that was scored as an RBI single. Weaver played the ball poorly into the outfield resulting in another run scored on the play. Diego Infante scored the last point of the night for the RiverDogs by starting ninth with a triple and then coming home on Abiezel Ramirez’s sacrificial volley to right field.

Reliever Neraldo Catalina took over with an 11-3 lead late in the ninth inning. He started the frame by running Harvin Mendoza, then gave Weaver an RBI brace who closed the lead to 11-4.

Catalina walked two more hitters to charge the goals and Jose Rodriguez followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 11-5. Samil Polanco flew off moments later to end the match. Mead led the charge again with a 3-4 night at home that included a home run, two runs RBIs and two runs scored. Wisely joined him with several hits, passing 2-5 with a double.

The RiverDogs finished with nine hits in the contest. Weaver went 2-4 with a double, homerun and four RBIs to lead Kannapolis (15-36). Lopez worked 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits while striking out eight batters, a season-high. Audry Lugo took the win by throwing 2.0 scoreless frames. The right-hander has allowed just one hit in 8.2 innings this season.

Andrew Gross extended his goalless streak to 28.1 innings by striking out the four batters he faced. The fifth installment of the series is scheduled for 7:00 a.m. Saturday evening. LHP Ben Brecht (1-2, 3.90) will open the game on the hill for the RiverDogs. Kannapolis will call on RHP Andrew Dalquist (1-3, 4.70).

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