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 Greenville Drive

Drive Relinquish Lead in the Seventh, Fall 6-5 in Sunday Finale

June 23, 2024 - South Atlantic League (SAL)
Greenville Drive News Release

For the third time in the six game road series with the Rome Emperors (2-1, 38-29), the Greenville Drive (1-2, 27-42) relinquished a late lead enroute to a loss. This time the Emperors erased a 5-3 Drive lead in the seventh, picking up three runs to down the Drive 6-5 and take the series, 4-2.

The Emperors used a quintet of pitchers on the day with starter Blake Burkhalter being the only one to throw more than two innings. Greenville knocked six hits off Burkhalter in his three innings of work, amassing three runs and two walks while striking out just once.

Falling behind 2-0 after the first via a Drew Compton two-RBI double into center field, the Drive responded in the second. Ahbram Liendo, who went 3-for-4 on the day, led off with a single, followed by Miguel Ugueto's eighth double of the season to left field, putting two runners in scoring position. Bryan Gonzalez grounded out to second, allowing Liendo to scratch across to make it 2-1.

Three pitches later, Mikey Romero singled to right field, knotting the game as Ugueto scored from third. Jhostynxon Garcia knocked his seventh homer of the year in the third, briefly giving Greenville a 3-2 lead.

After giving up the two runs in the first, starter Blake Wehunt gave up just two hits and one run over the next four innings. Sabin Ceballos knocked an RBI-single in the fifth, representing the last run given up by Wehunt, knotting the game at 3-3.

Greenville took the lead back in the seventh as Gonzalez singled and stole second while Romero and Bleis walked to load the bases. Luis Ravelo, who entered the game in the bottom of the third at shortstop in place of Cutter Coffey, reached on a fielder's choice to bring home Gonzalez. Ronald Rosario, followed up with an RBI-single to right on the first pitch of his at-bat, putting the Drive up 5-3.

But the Emperors proved relentless yet again. Kevin Kilpatrick, Jr. reached on a fielder's choice before advancing to second on a balk by Jeremy Wu-Yelland. After a Ceballos single put runners on the corners, Wu-Yelland walked Ethan Workinger on a wild pitch, allowing Kilpatrick to race home and cut the deficit to 5-4.

A double-steal from Ceballos and Workinger put two in scoring position. Wu-Yelland appeared to be clear of danger, striking out Adam Zebrowski in the next at-bat. But Compton knocked his second RBI-double of the afternoon, scoring both runners to put the Emperors up 6-5.

Cooper Adams finished the inning for the Drive and pitched the eighth. He allowed two walks to the six batters he faced.

Greenville made it interesting briefly in the ninth, as Ravelo slapped a one-out single. But Rosario snapped a line drive directly to E.J. Exposito, allowing him to double-up Ravelo at first, ending the game.

The Drive return to action on Tuesday, June 25th at Fluor Field for the start of a six-game homestand with Hickory Crawdads, affiliate of the Texas Rangers. First pitch on Tuesday is slated for 7:05 p.m.

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