Drive Fall to Columbia on Saturday
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Greenville Drive put together a five-run seventh inning, keyed by a grand slam from Tyler Dearden, en route to a 9-4 victory over the Columbia Fireflies on Friday night at Fluor Field.
Greenville scored first for the third straight game, plating a run in the first. Triston Casas drew a two-out walk and Kole Cottam followed with an RBI double to right center to score him and give the Drive a 1-0 lead.
Columbia took its first lead in the series with two runs in the third. A Taylor Lane single and a Ronny Mauricio double put runners at second and third with one out. A passed ball allowed Lane to score, before a sac fly by Mark Vientos two batters later brought in Mauricio to make it 2-1.
The Fireflies added to the lead with three unearned runs in the fifth. Three Columbia hits combined with two Drive errors allowed eight batters to come to the plate and give the road team a 5-1 lead.
The teams then traded runs between the fifth, sixth and seventh to push the score to 6-3. In the fifth, Everlouis Lozada singled to center with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch, before later scoring on a dropped fly ball by the left fielder.
Columbia countered in the sixth, as Brian Sharp doubled and later scored on an RBI single by Mauricio. Brandon Howlett then hit his sixth home run of the season in the seventh, a solo homer over the Green Monster in left.
Columbia starter Daison Acosta earned a no-decision, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in 4.1 innings pitched with five strikeouts against four walks. The win went to Conner O'Neil, who worked 1.2 scoreless innings in relief, allowing two hits with three strikeouts against one walk.
Drive starter Chase Shugart (5-2) suffered the loss, allowing five unearned runs on six hits in 5.0 innings pitched with six strikeouts against one walk. The Drive bullpen kept it close, as Alem Demchak and Yoan Aybar combined to allow just one run on three hits in 4.0 innings pitch with four strikeouts against no walks.
Grant Williams led the offense with a 2-for-4 night at the plate, while Howlett hit his sixth long ball of the year.
The series concludes on Sunday with a 3:05 PM first pitch. Drive right-hander Chris Machamer will take to the hill, facing off against Columbia right-hander Jaison Vilera.
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