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 Greenville Drive

Drive Outlast 'Hoppers, 14-12 in Extras in Wild Wednesday Affair

May 22, 2024 - South Atlantic League (SAL)
Greenville Drive News Release

Wild is about the only way to describe it.

The Greenville Drive (19-22) outlasted the Greensboro Grasshoppers (23-18), 14-12 in 10 innings Wednesday, blowing a 10-2 lead and a 12-11 lead before ultimately scoring two runs in extras to pick up their second consecutive win over the 'Hoppers.

Miguel Ugueto was 4-for-6 at the plate with two RBI including a key RBI in the 10th, Mikey Romero notched his first High-A homer among his three hits, Cutter Coffey knocked his third homer of the season, and Allan Castro chipped in a two-run, lead-taking homer in the eighth in one of the Drive's best hitting performances of the season.

It marked the second time the Drive notched 14 hits in a game this season and the second time they combined with the opposing team for 26 total hits.

Coupled with the Drive's outburst of hitting, the team turned in one of its worst pitching performances as the trio of Dalton Rogers, Gabriel Jackson, and Isaac Stebens allowed 12 hits and 8 walks allowing Greensboro to mount a comeback.

The Drive began where they left off on Tuesday, slashing four across in the top of the first, to open up an early lead. After a Romero lead-off double on the first pitch of the ball game, Coffey lifted his third homer of the season to left field. Kristian Campbell and Ugueto singled before Tyler Miller walked to load the bases before a balk by starter Alessandro Ercolani scored Campbell. Luis Ravelo would plate Ugueto with a groundout to first, rounding out the four-run first for the Drive.

While Greensboro struggled at the plate the previous night, thanks to a career night from Luis Perales, the 'Hoppers found a way to claw back into the game against starter Dalton Rogers, scratching across two in the second thanks to back-to-back groundouts that plated both runs.

It didn't take long for the Drive to respond in turn. Castro slapped a single and Ugueto rapped a double down the left field line to make it 5-2. Caden Rose added a double off the wall two batters later, scoring Ugueto and Luis Ravelo, boosting the lead to 7-2.

Mikey Romero drove a three-run shot over the left field wall two batters later, his first High-A homer, lifting the Drive lead to 10-2.

Termarr Johnson smacked his third homer of the season in the third off Rogers, the second time this season he's gone deep against the Drive.

The Drive bats would be cooled after Ercolani exited the game in the third as reliever Emanuel Chapman struck out five of the first six batters he faced before giving way to Derek Diamond.

Rogers conceded another homer in the fourth, this time to Nick Cimillo to cut the lead to 10-4. The 'Hoppers continued to hang around in the fifth, as Jack Brannigan led off the inning with a double before a wild pitch and then a walk to Termarr Johnson put two on, ending Rogers night in favor of Gabriel Jackson.

And things would take a turn for the worse.

Greensboro would score seven runs over the next three innings thanks to a Lonnie White Jr., RBI-single, Charles McAdoo reaching on fielder;s choice, a PJ Hilson homer in the sixth, a Mtich Jebb grounder into a double play that scored a runner and a Geovanny Planchart homer that put the game at 10-9.

After walking Hudson Head, Jackson would give up a two-run shot to left to put the 'Hoppers up 11-10.

But Castro would ensure that all the runs would not be in vain as he sent the sixth pitch of his at-bat deep over the right field wall to put Greenville back in front with a two-run homer flipping the game back in favor of Greenville, 12-11.

Jeremy Wu-Yelland shutdown the 'Hoppers in the eighth picking up a strikeout to hold the 12-11 lead before Isaac Stebens took over in the bottom of the ninth.

Stebens walked two and hit a batter to load the bases before striking out one. A potential double-play would not be in time on the throw to first allowing the 'Hoppers to tie the game up again, sending the game to extras.

Coffey led off the 10th with a single to move ghost runner Mikey Romero to third before a wild throw on a Coffey steal attempt allowed Romero to score. Ugueto added an RBI-single after a Castro walk boosting the lead to 14-12.

The Greenville Drive return to action Thursday, May 23 for game three of the six-game series with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. The Drive lead the series, 2-0.

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