It took an extra inning, but Charleston RiverDogs end season with a win

Image by Courtesey RiverDogs

Rob Lyerly's bloop single to right field brought home Slade Heathcott to score the winning run in the RiverDogs rousing 2-1 season finale victory over the Greensboro Grasshoppers in front of 4,618 fans in South Atlantic League action on Monday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. 

Home attendance
2007: 284,718
2008: 279,606
2010: 269,023
2009: 268,985
2006: 267,908
2003: 259,007
2004: 255,790
2005: 249,374
2002: 242,143
2000: 240,069
1999: 238,184
2001: 236,175
1998: 234,840
1997: 231,006

The 4,618 fans in attendance for Monday night's finale brings the RiverDogs 2010 attendance total to 269,023 loud and proud "Be Your Own Fans!" The 269,023-attendance figure is good enough for third highest total of Charleston baseball history.

The Post and Courier has a nice photo gallery from the game, see it here.

With the win, Charleston ends the season on a three-game win streak - the longest to end a campaign since 2005 -- finishing the second half at 34-36, 65-74 overall. Greensboro's season comes to an end on a three-game losing skid, wrapping up the season at 34-36, 66-74 overall. 

Charleston and Greensboro combined for just nine hits and no runs through the first nine innings as the scoreless stalwart took the game into extra innings.

Charleston's Shane Greene and Greensboro's Edgar Olmos each took no-decisions in the extra-inning nailbiter in signature outings.

Greene tossing 6.0 shutout innings, giving up just two infield singles while ringing up a career-high eight batters. Olmos penned 7.0 innings of scoreless ball, giving up just four hits while striking out eight batters as well.

That scoreless stalwart did not last long in extras, thanks to Rand Smith's suicide squeeze bunt scoring Taylor Krick in the top of the 10th. Krick singled to reach base and moved to third on Carlos Paulino's double, before coming home Smith's squeeze bunt, giving Greensboro a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the 10th. 

After Greensboro reliever Ramon Benjamin (3-3) struck out Ramon Flores and Kelvin Castro to open the frame, the southpaw walked RiverDogs catcher Hector Rabago, who was replaced by pinch-runner Jose Toussen. On the very next pitch, Heathcott roped a RBI double off the glove of leaping left fielder Christian Yelich, plating Toussen to tie the game at 1-1. Benjamin then walked Emerson Landoni to face Rob Lyerly with two on and two outs.

Lyerly, who was named to the SAL Post-Season All-Star Team earlier this week, responded on Benjamin's first offering with an RBI single to right to score Heathcott with a feet-first slide to give the RiverDogs the thrilling 2-1 victory and the 10th walkoff win in 2010. 

That occurrence marks the second straight year and the third time in four years that the season that Charleston's season has ended with a walkoff victory. 

Kelvin Perez (5-5) notches the victory after giving up just three hits and one earned run, with four strikeouts, in a total of 4.0 innings of relief work. 

Benjamin (3-3) takes the loss after giving up three hits and two earned runs, both in the bottom of the 10th, with seven strikeouts, in a total of 2.2 innings on the mound. 

Lyerly paced Charleston with a 3-for-5 performance to bring his hit total to 157 for the season, second-best in the SAL. Luke Murton contributed a fourth-inning double to finish his campaign on an 11-game hitting streak. 

This story is courtesy of the RiverDogs.

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