GASTONIA, N.C. — The Charleston Dirty Birds fell 9-2 to the Gastonia Honey Hunters in seven innings Friday evening at CaroMont Health Park, but it was of little consequence.
That’s because the Dirty Birds already clinched an Atlantic League playoff berth Thursday with a 10-3 win over the York Revolution.
Charleston will take on North Division first-half winner Lexington in a best-of-three series starting Monday at 6:05 p.m.
The Dirty Birds slip to 36-21 in the second half.
Gastonia started strong, using a two-run homer and an RBI single in the bottom of the first to take a 3-0 lead.
Charleston got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth when Alfonso Reda drew a bases-loaded walk to score Rymer Liriano and trim the deficit to 3-1.
The Honey Hunters quickly extinguished any hope for a Charleston comeback, exploding for six runs in the bottom of the frame to pull away.
Charleston’s Nate Easley drove in Matt Harrison on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh, but the Dirty Birds would get no closer.
Dario Pizzano was the only Charleston player to collect multiple hits, going 2 for 3.
Joe Testa took the loss for the Dirty Birds, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out one against one walk in two innings.
Charleston and Gastonia continue their series Saturday at 6:50 p.m., then close out the regular season on Sunday.