Drive Clip Crawdads, 6-5, on Wednesday
EENVILLE, S.C. - The Greenville Drive scored early and often on Tuesday, plating a run in each of their first five at-bats before holding on for a 6-5 victory over the Hickory Crawdads at Fluor Field. The win evens the series at a game apiece.
The Drive opened up a 3-0 lead with one run in each of the first three innings. Devlin Granberg plated the first with an RBI double in the opening frame to score Cole Brannen. Brannen then doubled home Grant Williams in the second to make it 2-0. Triston Casas then hit a sac fly to center to score Granberg, who tripled a batter earlier, to extend the lead to 3-0.
Hickory got on the board with two runs in the fourth. Sherten Apostel hit a two-out, two-run home run to left to cut the lead to 3-2.
Greenville answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half. Kervin Suarez scored the first, reaching on a walk, stealing second, moving to third on an error and scoring on a balk. Brannen later walked, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI single by Jordan Wren, pushing the advantage to 5-2.
Both teams added lone runs in the fifth. A solo home run by Jonathan Ornelas made it a 5-3 game in the top half. An RBI double by Suarez pushed it back to a three-run game at 6-3 in the bottom half.
Hickory then drew within a run at 6-5 with two more in the sixth. Frainyer Chavez drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home the first run, while Ornelas followed with a sac fly to center, making it a 6-5 game.
After retiring the final two batters of the sixth, Drive reliever Kris Jackson closed the door, facing just two over the minimum over the final three innings to record his first save of the season. He righty allowed two hits and a walk, while striking out five, including the final batter of the game to strand the tying run.
Yorvin Pantoja (2-2) earned the win, allowing three runs on three hits and four walks with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings pitched. Hickory starter Ronny Henriquez (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
Brannen led the Drive on the night, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, an RBI, a walk and a stolen base. Granberg added a 2-for-4 performance with a double, a triple, a run and an RBI. Suarez went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run, an RBI and two stolen bases, while Esplin also added an extra-base hit with his fifth-inning double.
The series concludes on Thursday with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Drive right-hander Chris Machamer (1-0, 4.94) is set to face off against Hickory right-hander Cole Winn.
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