After being rained out the night before ... and a 22-minute rain day in game one ... the Columbus Catfish swept both games of a doubleheader to all but assure themselves a playoff spot, as they beat the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees) 2-1 ... and 2-1 ... both in walk-off fashion.
In game one, starter Will Kline, Tampa Bay's number two pick in this year's draft, went 5 innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 4, but took a no-decision. Reliever Brian Baker, who helped lead Columbus High School and Columbus State University to titles, picked up the win by pitching the last 2 innings, allowing an unearned run on 2 hits, striking out 3.
The pitchers' duel went the distance, as Charleston didn't allow a run through 6 innings. Both teams put runners on third in the 5th inning, but neither could score. Then, the 7th inning made all the difference.
Charleston scored an unearned run a 2-out throwing error. But with 1 out in the bottom of the 7th, DH Nevin Ashley and LF Ryan Royster hit back-to-back homers to tie the game and win the game, respectively. Royster's home run was his 29th of the season, tops in the South Atlantic League.
In game two, Charleston scored an unearned run off of Heath Rollins, but the Catfish tied the game in the 2nd on Royster's 30th home run. Other than hits in the 4th inning that netted nothing, no one else made it on base the rest of the way. Until the bottom of the 7th.
In the home half of the 7th, Ashley walked and moved to third on Royster's single. RF Quinn Stewart was walked to load the bases, then 1B Matt Fields delivered a game-winning RBI single to secure the sweep.
The win eliminated every team except Charleston and Asheville from challenging the Catfish for the 2nd half division title. A Catfish win against Charleston on Thursday, or winning one of four in Savannah this weekend, would give the Catfish the playoff spot. Likewise, 1 loss by Charleston in their last 5 games, and a loss by Asheville in their final 6 games, would put the Catfish in the playoffs.