By the bottom of the ninth inning on Friday night, it seemed the only thing softer than the boiled peanuts were the Charleston RiverDogs at bat. In front of a packed season opener, the Dogs trailed the Rome Braves to the tune of eight to four. Although some looming clouds rolled in and threatened bad weather, the night remained mild and breezy with a chance of being hit by one of the many pop-ups that came streaking through the night sky.

The Joe was at capacity, and while the crowd of more than 7,000 fans maintained morale throughout the slump, they certainly got their money’s worth during the ninth in a wild turn of events. While the words “Let’s go RiverDogs” droned from the popped-collar-clad throats of the loud gentlemen behind me, game changing moments began to erupt, causing the Dogs to bring home four runs for the tie and another in the tenth to secure the win. The crowd went berserk, the guys behind me spiked their rally caps, and the Dogs moved into a 4-5 standing in the South Atlantic League. And so, the season begins.

Maybe the spurt of good luck was thanks to Bill Murray throwing the first pitch, or maybe it was the spit on the wood from the Riverdogs’ Labrador bat boy. In any case, Aaron Ledesma’s home debut as the Dogs’ manager was victorious. Of course, win or lose, the RiverDogs games remain a favorite local pastime. And according to the handy dandy magnetic schedule all guests received at the gates, there are plenty of special event-filled home games to come.