R’Dogs run into the Dog Days

The Riverdogs posted another loss on Monday, June 22, in a low-scoring game against the Morristown Sandlot.

The Dogs gave up a single run in the first inning and held strong until the fourth and fifth innings when they gave up two more runs.

Finally, the Dogs showed a bit of life in the sixth, batting in two runners to trail by only a single run, but, ultimately, couldn’t finish things off, allowing another run in the seventh to put the final score at 4-2 in favor of the Sandlots.

Ethan Tinker and Mac Lowe pitched for the Riverdogs, with both walking away from the game with a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of one.

Tinker finished the game with three strikeouts and 11 first-pitch strikes across five innings, while Lowe managed three first-pitch strikes in his two innings, but, unfortunately, no strikeouts.

Rob Lowe, the head coach for the Riverdogs, said that it was a hard game, but the team is improving.

“We played a lot better than we have so far,” he said. “We stayed away from the big inning that’s been getting us. We just can’t dig ourselves out of trouble once it starts. We fought back in the sixth inning and had three hits overall. We had five errors. It’s little things like walks and errors that keep getting us. We played a lot better game.”

The team had some of its leading players back after three of the seniors returned from vacations this week.

“That made a huge difference in how the team played overall,” Lowe said.

Devin Wilcox, Chase Lockard, and Nick Graham all had hits in the game, with Wilcox scoring an RBI. Logan Thomas got on base with a walk in the sixth and ended up scoring for the team as well.

Still, the Riverdogs have struggled with hitting so far, and Lowe said it’s been a major failing for the team.

“Until we start hitting the ball, it’s going to be hard,” he said. “The effort is definitely there; we just have to cut down on the mental mistakes.”

Even with the mistakes and the hard nature of the season so far for the Riverdogs, Lowe said the team is definitely improving, and the experience is really helping the younger guys.

“The young guys are learning a lot,” he said. “They’re up watching the games, paying attention and try to learn what they need to work on before next season gets around. It’s a cool feeling. I look back and see 20 guys cheering all their friends on.”

The high school leagues will have an all-star night on July 3, along with a senior night. The Senior Game will start at 5 p.m., and the All-Star Game will begin at 7:30. After that game will be a fireworks display.

Tickets will be $7.50 or $10 at the gate, while season ticket holders will not have to pay.