Up 7-0 going into the bottom of the 5th inning, the Columbus Catfish couldn’t stop the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees) from fighting back, tying the game in the 9th, and beating the Catfish in 11, 8-7.
Catfish starter Will Kline had his best outing of his young career (he was the 2nd round pick of Tampa Bay in this year’s draft}. Kline pitched 5 innings, facing 20 batters, allowing 1 run on 7 hits, striking out 3, and walking none. He left with a 7-1 lead, in position for his first win, but wound up with a no decision.
The Catfish put up 5 runs in the 3rd. With 1 out, Maiko Loyola doubled home Brett Grandstrand, who singled to lead off the inning, then moved to 2nd when Craig Albernaz walked. Cesar Suarez singled home Albernaz and Loyola, then moved to 2nd on a wild pitch. With 2 outs, Ryan Royster doubled, scoring Suarez. With Royster on third (advancing on a wild pitch), Joey Callender singled to right, plating Royster, and putting the Catfish up 5-0,
In the 5th, Loyola hit a solo homer to start the inning. Suarez doubled, and moved to third on a wild pitch. Nevin Ashley sacrificed him home on a fly ball to left.
Brian Baker allowed 3 runs total in the 6th and 7th innings, allowing Charleston to close the gap to 7-4.
In the bottom of the 9th, Neal Frontz allowed a 1-out, 3-run homer to tie the game.
Ryan Reid came on in the 11th, faced 2 batters, and took the loss when Charleston’s James Cooper doubled to left, scoring Mitch Hilligoss, who walked to start the inning.
Despite the loss … and the sweep … the Catfish still hold a lead, albeit slim, in the South Atlantic League Southern Division. The Catfish are 35-23, 1/2 game ahead of Charleston’s 35-24 mark. Both teams have 11 games left, including 3 against each other in Columbus next week.