Drive Rally in Ninth for 4-3 Win at Charleston
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A two-run double by Grant Williams in the top of the ninth propelled the Greenville Drive (5-7) to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Charleston Riverdogs (6-7) on Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Ballpark in the second game of the Battle of the Palmetto State Rivalry Series, presented by Spinx.
Trailing 3-2 in the ninth, a lead-off single by Tyler Esplin and a one-out walk by Korby Batesole put the go-ahead run aboard. After a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position, Williams lined a 1-1 pitch to right for a double, his second extra-base hit of the game, to bring home both runners and give the Drive a 4-3 lead.
Drive hurler Rio Gomez retired the Riverdogs in order in the bottom of the ninth, recording a strikeout, popout and a groundout to cap off the victory. Gomez (2-0) earned his second win of the season, recording 2.0 scoreless and hitless innings with a pair of strikeouts to his credit. Charleston reliever Anderson Munoz (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing both runs in the ninth inning.
The Drive got on the board first with a run in its first at-bat. Jordan Wren drew a two-out walk and Kole Cottam doubled to right to score him and make it 1-0.
Charleston evened the game at 1-1 with a run in the bottom half. Brandon Lockridge opened the inning with lead-off triple and Kyle Gray drove him in with a single to right. The Riverdogs threatened for more, loading the bases with no outs, but Drive starter Thaddeus Ward recorded a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to leave the bases loaded.
Greenville retook the lead with a lone run in the fifth. Batesole led off with a single and Williams followed with a triple to right to make it a 2-1 advantage.
Charleston again answered in the bottom half of the inning, this time scoring twice. With the bases loaded and two outs, Canaan Smith singled to left to plate two runs and give the Riverdogs a 3-2 lead.
Williams led the Drive offensively, going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI in the win. Esplin also turned in a two-hit night, going 2-for-4 with a run, while Batesole was 1-for-2 with two runs and a walk.
Ward, making his third start of the year, worked 4.1 innings and allowed three runs on six hits and three walks against a season-high-tying seven strikeouts, as three Drive pitchers combined to total 15 strikeouts. Yorvin Pantoja tallied six strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief work while surrendering just two hits.
The two will wrap up the series on Wednesday with an 11:05 AM first pitch. Greenville sends RHP Yasel Santana (0-1, 6.75 ERA) to the mound, squaring off against RHP Jio Orozco (0-1, 2.16 ERA) for Charleston.
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