Drive Drop Series Finale to Hickory
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Hickory Crawdads scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings en route to a 7-5 victory over the Greenville Drive in the series finale on Thursday night at Fluor Field.
Greenville got the scoring started with two runs in the third. Grant Williams led off with a walk and Cole Brannen followed with a single, before a wild pitch put runners at second and third. Two batters later, Triston Casas doubled to right to drive in both and put the home team in front 2-0.
Hickory responded with three in the fourth. Tanner Gardner and Pedro Gonzalez recorded back-to-back RBI triples and Sherten Apostel followed with a sac fly to left, putting the Crawdads in front 3-2.
They would add to the lead with three more in their next at-bat. An RBI single by Matt Whatley scored one ahead of Curtis Terry, who homered to left, his eighth of the season, to score two more and make it a 6-2 game.
The Drive responded with two in the bottom of the fifth. Casas singled to right to score Brannen from second and Tyler Esplin later singled to center to drive in Brandon Howlett, cutting the Hickory advantage to 6-4.
Both teams tacked on a run in the eighth. In the top half, a one-out triple by Gardner, his second of the night, put a runner on for Gonzalez, who doubled to bring him home and push the lead to 7-4. In the bottom half, after a Kervin Suarez single and a Grant Williams double put two on with one out, Brannen score Suarez from third with an RBI groundout to make it 7-5.
Hickory reliever Grant Anderson (4-3) earned the win, throwing 3.0 innings and allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts. Drive starter Chris Machamer (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in 3.1 innings pitched with one strikeout. Nick Snyder earned his first save of the year, allowing one run on three hits with a pair of Ks over the final 3.0 innings.
Four different Drive hitters recorded two-hit nights, as the team totaled 11 in the loss. Casas went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI, while Brannen was 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Esplin added a 2-for-5 night with a double and an RBI and Williams was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run. Yoan Aybar worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the Drive, striking out one.
The Drive open a four-game series with the West Virginia Power on Friday. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Fluor Field.
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