Well, I couldn't wait to get started, so here we go!
The Yankees Single-A affiliate Charleston RiverDogs finish up the 2007 season in second place behind the Columbus Catfish by 2.5 games in the South Atlantic League Southern Division. The RiverDogs finished in 2nd place behind the Columbus Catfish (Tampa Bay) who went on to win the SAL Championship.
This season the RiverDogs were led by third baseman Mitch Hilligross who led the team with a .310 batting average and 35 stolen bases. On his way to his .310 batting average and a SAL All-Star selection, Hilligross hit safely in 38 straight games during the first half of the season.
On the mound, the RiverDogs were led by Michael Dunn and Grant Duff. Dunn was 12-5 in 27 starts with a 3.42 ERA and Duff went 14-8 in 27 starts with a 3.82 ERA. Unlike many of the pitchers in the Yankees organization, these guys were with Charleston for the long haul and provided a great anchor in the rotation. The bullpen was led by closer Jonathan Hovis who compiled 30 saves and a 1.69 ERA and that shortened the Dogs’ games just like Mariano does for the big team.
In my opinion, I feel like the RiverDogs had a strong year, showing improvement as the season went along, falling just short of first place in the Southern division. It was an unusual season for the Dogs with everything from Brady Martinez proposing to his girlfriend after she threw out the first pitch to the overall bad season of umpiring all over the South Atlantic League.
I would also like to note that the RiverDogs honored the 9 Charleston firefighters who lost their lives in a tragedy on June 18. The RiverDogs and many businesses in the Charleston area helped raise money to give to the families of the fallen firefighters.