Friday, July 11, 2014

Charleston let the dogs out

Observations from Charleston

Since Charleston is the RiverDogs, this is the only South Atlantic League entrant allowed to use "Who Let the Dogs Out?" as long as it is judicious about it, which is is. We heard it once for a scoring play during an early inning, and again during a thrilling bottom-of-the-ninth sequence resulting in a win. Gosuke Katoh singled and advanced on a bunt by Michael O'Neill, then he slid around a tag at home after a line drive by Mark Payton. Payton was in the game only as a replacement for Tyler Wade, who was ejected after being called out on an attempted steal in during the eighth inning. O'Neill had his own big moment to open the game with a home run.

Temperatures were in the high 80s or low 90s for a recent start of a night game, but the breeze off the Ashley River keeps things bearable at Joe P. Riley Stadium (“The Joe”). The seagulls add a fun obstacle - though none were hit with batted balls, the possiblity kept us all on high alert.

This is the first of seven parks I've visited in the league with a keyhole - a graded dirt area between the plate area and the mound. One of these showed up recently in the World Series, and we confirmed there were only two in the major leagues at the time.

RiverDogs Carolinas Connections

Pitcher Rookie Davis, Sneads Ferry, N.C.
Pitcher Eric Ruth, Winthrop