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 Greenville Drive

Drive Relinquish Lead Late; Fall 7-6 in Walk-off Fashion to Wilmington

April 16, 2024 - South Atlantic League (SAL)
Greenville Drive News Release

For two teams squaring off for the first time in history, they sure knew how to make it memorable, as the Greenville Drive (3-7) fell 7-6 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks (7-3) on a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth.

Viandel Pena's first double of the season escaped a diving Caden Rose and banged into the leftfield corner, allowing Murphy Stehly and Sammy Infante to score from second and first respectively. Rose's heroic attempt to snag the elusive ball likely would have prevented a run from crossing and put the Drive an out away from stealing a road victory. Though Rose recovered almost instantly, by the time his throw to the infield arrived to Cutter Coffey, Infante had crossed home, giving the Blue Rocks a come-from-behind victory.

The Drive and Blue Rocks traded runs consistently throughout the night, though the Drive would hold two three-run leads in the game. Greenville opened up the early 3-0 lead in the third, thanks to a Tyler Miller grounder into a fielder's choice allowing Caden Rose and Eduardo Lopez to score before an Allan Castro sac-fly later scored Tyler Miller.

The Blue Rocks answered in the bottom of the third, as T.J. White's groundout plated Jonathan Thomas from third, marking the first of three runs the Blue Rocks would nab off Drive starter David Sandlin. Sandlin would exit the game after the fourth, officially allowing four hits, three runs, four walks and a homer while striking out four. The other two runs would come via an Infante two-run shot in the fourth.

Deadlocked at three in the sixth, the Drive scratched across three more to take their second lead of the ballgame. Rose slashed a triple to score Ronald Rosario and Juan Chacon to make it 5-3 before Lopez smacked a sac-fly to right to score Rose for the 6-3 lead.

Undeterred, the Blue Rocks would add two of their own in the sixth off reliever Gabriel Jackson as White again came through for Wilmington, slashing a hit to left field to score Thomas and Daylen Lile to cut the lead to one. Jackson exited the game after 2.2 innings, allowing four hits, two runs and three walks while ringing up two.

Drive reliever Cade Feeney worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning, seemingly in control. But he'd give up three hits in the ninth, allowing Pena to take advantage and ultimately down the Drive 7-6.

The Greenville Drive return to action tomorrow, April 17 at 6:35 p.m. for game two of the six-game series with Wilmington. The Blue Rocks lead the series, 1-0.

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