Drive blanked by RiverDogs, 1-0
Greenville, SC - Four Charleston RiverDogs pitchers combined to pitch a three-hit shutout versus the Greenville Drive Thursday night at West End Field. The 1-0 loss dropped the Drive to 32-28 while the win improved the RiverDogs to .500 at 29-29.
The RiverDogs would score the only run of the ballgame in the top of the third with two outs off of starting pitcher Chris Jones. Austin Jackson was issued a leadoff walk and stole second during Marcos Vechionacci's at bat. After Vechionacci walked, Jackson was forced out at third on Ben Jones' grounder. However, with two outs, C.J. Henry singled to center scoring Vechionacci from second.
The Drive would threaten in the bottom of the eighth, only to have the tying run thrown out at the plate to end the inning. With two outs, Charleston reliever Bryan Rueger issued a walk to Christian Lara and Jay Johnson followed by delivering a single. Dominic Ramos then hit a single up the middle; however second baseman Eduardo Nunez made a diving snag and rifled the ball to the plate getting Lara, who was trying to score from second, out by five steps.
Jones (3-1), who suffered his first loss of the season, tossed 5.0 innings allowing one run on two hits and three walks, while striking four. Newly received Jason Blackey and Kyle Fernandes combined to toss four scoreless innings in relief for the Drive.
Charleston starter Jason Stephens improved to 4-1 on season, tossing 5.0 scoreless innings allowing a hit and a walk, while punching out four Greenville batters. Cory Stuart, Bryan Ruegar and Eric Wordekemper closed out the Drive by tossing 4.0 shutout innings, combining for four strikeouts. Wordekemper picked up his fifth save of the season by pitching a perfect ninth inning.
The Drive hit the road tomorrow for the start of a seven-game road trip, starting with a three-game series versus the Asheville Tourists. Greenville will send right-hander Clay Buchholz to the mound as Asheville will counter with right-hander Chaz Roe.
The Drive return home to West End Field on June 16 to closeout the first half of the regular season with a three-game series versus the Tourists. Tickets to all Drive home games can be purchased by calling the Drive Ticket Office at 864-240-4528 or online at www.GreenvilleDrive.com.
NOTES: Jay Johnson, Dominic Ramos, and Matt Mercurio had the only Drive hits Thursday night...With his hit, Johnson extended his hitting streak to nine games...C.J. Henry (2-for-3) of the RiverDogs, was the only batter with multiple hits...Attendance was 5433
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