Home Runs Help Drive Defeat Hickory, 8-3September 1, 2011 - South Atlantic League (SAL) Greenville Drive
GreenJackets' loss, the Drive (74-61, took a giant step forward Thursday towards punching their ticket to a third straight trip to the South Atlantic League playoffs.
Backed by a power surge with three homers accounting for five of their runs, Greenville defeated the Hickory Crawdads (78-55, 38-27), 8-3, at L.P.
The Drive totaled 10 hits in their victory, but it was three that accounted for all of their runs with home runs coming off the bats of Drew
Hedman, Christian Vazquez, and Brandon Jacobs.
The game was knotted in a scoreless tie until the top of the third, when
Hedman crushed a first pitch offering from Cody
Buckel to right-field for a two-out, solo homer.
Hickory, however, answered in the bottom of the fourth, needing three hits off of Brandon Workman to tie the game.
Despite striking out to begin the inning, Tomas Telis reached first base due to a wild pitch.
He would represent the tying run as he eventually scored on Josh Richmond's infield single.
But the Drive flexed their muscles again in the top of the sixth, this time off of reliever Jorge
With one out in the inning, Vazquez belted his 16th home run of the season with a solo shot of his own.
Two out singles by Henry Ramos and Michael
Almanzar, as well as a wild pitch gave Greenville a 3-1 lead.
The Crawdads cut their deficit to a run in the bottom of the sixth, before the Drive pulled away in the top of the seventh.
Hedman led off with a double and Sean Coyle walked, setting up Brandon Jacobs' three-run blast to give Greenville a four-run advantage.
Bogaerts' two-run single in the top of the ninth added to the Drive's lead, and accounted for the game's final runs.
Tossing 6.0 strong innings, Brandon Workman (6-7) earned his third win in as many starts, scattering six Crawdads' hits while walking none and recording four strikeouts.
Making his first appearance in a Drive uniform, Matt Price allowed a run on three hits and a walk in 1.1 innings out of the bullpen.
Michael Gleason pitched the final 1.2 innings, holding Hickory scoreless to pickup his fifth save of the season.
Making his Drive debut, former South Carolina Gamecocks standout Jackie Bradley, Jr. was 0-for-4.
Starting in centerfield, the 40th overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft recorded five putouts.
The Drive and Crawdads meet again on Friday in the second game of their series, with first pitch set for 7:05 PM.
Right-hander Kyle Stroup (5-6, 3.67 ERA) will be activated from the disabled list and toe the rubber for Greenville, while Hickory counters with right-hander Ben Henry (6-2, 2.58 ERA).
With the Drive, as well as the Augusta
GreenJackets, and Asheville Tourists all in contention for the second playoff spot, fans will now play the waiting game to see if playoff baseball will be coming to Fluor Field.
Tickets for the potential playoff games at Fluor Field - September 7, 15-17 - are currently on sale and can be purchased by visiting the Fluor Field Box Office, calling charge-by-phone at (864) 240-4528, or by logging onto www.GreenvilleDrive.com.
South Atlantic League Stories from September 1, 2011
- Drive Navigates to 8-3 Win in Hickory - Hickory Crawdads
- Lakewood Streams to 10-1 Series Opening Winner - Hagerstown Suns
- Power Shutout Shorebirds in Opener, 2-0 - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Home Runs Help Drive Defeat Hickory, 8-3 - Greenville Drive
- GreenJackets Fall 6-1 in Series Opener - Augusta GreenJackets
- Matzek Helps Send Tourists to 5-4 Win Over 'Dogs - Charleston RiverDogs
- BlueClaws Win 2nd Straight - Lakewood BlueClaws
- Greensboro Capitalizes on Intimidators' Errors - Kannapolis Intimidators
- Savannah Breaks Tie in 9th, Beats Legends 6-5 - Lexington Legends
- Former Gamecocks Standout Jackie Bradley, Jr. Joins Drive - Greenville Drive
- Gnats Game Notes: Thursday, September 1 at Lexington - Savannah Sand Gnats
- Juan Jaime Heads to DL - Rome Braves
- Shorebirds Game Notes: Vs. West Virginia - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Former Shorebird Kyle Hudson Called up to Orioles - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Power Game Notes - West Virginia Power
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