For the second week in a row, Charleston RiverDogs left-hander Caleb Smith tossed six shutout innings against the Delmarva Shorebirds, striking out seven in a 3-0 shutout on Sunday afternoon in front of 4,067 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs have a winning record at 15-14 while the Shorebirds slide to 13-16. Smith now has a streak of 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, the best streak by a Charleston pitcher since Daniel Camarena tossed 23 shutout frames in a row in the 2013 season. Smith, the reigning SAL Pitcher of the Week, is also the league pitching leader with a 0.66 earned run average.
Smith struck out the side to open the game before the RiverDogs took a quick 1-0 lead. Abiatal Avelino led off the bottom of the first inning with a double. With the bases loaded and only one out, Miguel Andujar grounded to third base to score Avelino during a Delmarva error.
In six shutout innings, Smith allowed only two baserunners on two hits. Trey Mancini began the second with a single but was thrown out on a double play by Andujar, Tyler Wade, and Mike Ford. Drew Dosch doubled in the fourth inning but stayed at second base to end the inning.
During the bottom of the sixth, Charleston added cushion to its lead. The RiverDogs loaded the bases with two outs and garnered a 2-0 lead after an infield single for Murphy. Gosuke Katoh made it a 3-0 advantage by scoring on an error after an Avelino ground ball.
Giovanny Gallegos followed Smith and earned a three-inning save with nearly perfect work. A leadoff single in the eighth inning was wiped clean by a double play. Another single opened the ninth before Gallegos and the RiverDogs defense closed the game with the final three outs.
Smith’s record climbs to 3-1 this season after his fourth consecutive shutout start. Austin Urban fell to 1-3 after the loss despite allowing just one run and two hits in five innings pitched. Gallegos earned his first career save with his long relief outing.
BALLPARK FUN: The Ancient Order of Hibernians were a fun group on Irish Heritage Night, which included bagpipes, an in-game hurling demonstration, and on-field dance routines as part of the festivities. Former Gamecock football and basketball star Bruce Ellington mingled with the fans on Sunday and even threw out a ceremonial first pitch. Celebrity “Smokin’ Chef” Michael Saboe of the Culinary Institute of Charleston served pulled pork sundaes that he made with the RiverDogs new meat smoker.
COMING UP: The finale of this four-game series and seven-game homestand will be at 7:05pm on Monday evening. Charleston RHP Brady Lail (3-1, 4.05 ERA) squares off against Delmarva RHP Hunter Harvey (1-1, 2.08 ERA). Dollar Dogs and Beers Night, presented by Coors and Z93 Jamz, means $1 hot dogs and $1 drafts in the Ashley View Pub. The RiverDogs are also hosting Cinco de Mayo festivities along with “Dogs with a Cause,” featuring Tri-County Family Ministries. 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.