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 Greenville Drive

Drive Relinquish Three in the Bottom of the Ninth, Fall 6-5 to Rome on Walk-Off Bloop Single

June 21, 2024 - South Atlantic League (SAL)
Greenville Drive News Release

The Greenville Drive (0-1, 26-41) took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth Friday, looking to pick up back-to-back wins over the first-half champion Rome Emperors (1-0, 37-28). Rome however, capitalized on a two-out walk and single, stringing together back-to-back RBI singles, the latter a bloop into center field that fell beyond a diving Mikey Romero and in front of left fielder Juan Chacon and center fielder Miguel Bleis scoring two runners to give Rome the walk-off victory.

The winning runs came off reliever Adam Smith, marking his third loss of the season and his second blown save of the year. He picked up one strikeout while giving up three hits and one walk.

David Sandlin tossed two hitless innings for the Drive in his second start since returning from just over a month-long stay on the IL. He picked up four strikeouts and issued one walk in a return to form for the highly touted prospect.

Greenville jumped out to an early lead in the second, scratching across one on a Ahrbam Liendo two-out, RBI-single to center field after Jhostynxon Garcia and Juan Chacon walked. Chacon would be thrown out at third on the play, stopping potential further damage in the inning.

Bryan Gonzalez added his 13th and league-lead-tying homer of the season, barreling up a 1-2 pitch over the left center field wall to put the Drive up 3-0 in the fourth.

Jedixson Paez piggybacked Sandlin, holding Rome scoreless through the fourth inning before the Emperos cracked him in the fifth. E.J. Exposito led off with a single before Stephen Paolini roped a triple to cut the lead to 3-1. Carlos Arroyo knocked in Paolini on a groundout to Linedo, cutting the lead to just one at 3-2.

A two-single from Sabin Ceballos and a walk to Ethan Workinger set up an Adam Zebrowski RBI-single to knot the game at 3-3.

Gonzalez walked with two outs in the sixth before Liendo reached on fielding error, allowing Gonzalez to put the Drive back up as Liendo's fly ball to the right centerfield gap was dropped by center fielder Kevin Kilpatrick, Jr. Gonzalez, running on the play, crossed easily. Isaac Stebens tossed the sixth, seventh, and eighth for the Drive, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out three.

Cutter Coffey extended his hitting streak to 10 games, knocking a one-out RBI-single in the seventh to put the Drive up 5-3 before the faithful ninth inning, sealed the game for the Emperors.

Rome's Jace Grady delivered the two-out game-winning bloop single, his only hit in four at-bats on the night.

The Drive return to action on Saturday, June 22nd at 5:00 p.m. for game five of the six-game series with the Rome Emperors. Rome leads the series, 3-1.

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South Atlantic League Stories from June 21, 2024

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