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 Greenville Drive

Gonzalez Goes Yard Twice, But Drive Fall 10-5 to Hot Rods' Late-Inning Offense

April 13, 2024 - South Atlantic League (SAL)
Greenville Drive News Release

Three Greenville Drive (2-6) home runs, including two two-run shots from Bryan Gonzalez, weren't enough to overcome an offensive onslaught from the Bowling Green Hot Rods (5-3), who chipped in four homers of their own, as the Drive dropped their fourth game of the six-game series to 10-5.

As has been the case with previous games this season, the Drive failed to protect a lead, whether big or small. After the Drive took a 2-1 lead off Gonzalez's first two-run shot in the fifth, the Hot Rods stormed back to knot the game in the sixth on a Colton Ledbetter RBI-double before notching three more unanswered runs in the seventh for a 5-2 lead.

Gonzalez would again come up with a second two-run homer in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-4, blasting this one into the bullpens - the first of two situations where the Drive drew within a run of the Hot Rods.

Throughout the series the Hot Rods resiliency has played a key role in their victories and in the eighth they found yet another way to tap into it as Kamren Hames blasted his first homer of the year to center field to put the Hot Rods back up two at 6-4.

Drew Ehrhard cut the lead back to one with his first professional homer of his career in the eighth, but it'd be the closest the Drive would get for the remainder of the game as the Hot Rods teed off on reliever Conor Steinbaugh in the ninth.

Brayden Taylor chipped in an RBI-single while Ledbetter added a two-run homer and Brock Jones slapped a two-out RBI-double to put the game away at 10-5.

Further adding to the painful night for Greenville - a night where they donned their black and white pinstriped Black Spinners uniforms in homage to the all-Black Greenville Black Spinners squads of the early and mid-1900s - the Drive squandered five innings of shutdown work from starter Connelly Early. His efforts were the first of the series that seemed to cool the Hot Rods approach at the plate as he allowed just three hits and one run while striking out seven.

The Hot Rods would do most of their damage off reliever Zach Fogell (making his Drive debut), and Steinbaugh as the two combined to allow 11 hits, two walks, and nine runs, all of which were earned.

Though Greenville's efforts fell short, the Drive cleaned up their woes with scoring opportunities leaving just three on the bases as compared to nine the night before.

The Drive and the Hot Rods conclude the six-game series at Fluor Field on Sunday with first pitch slated for 3:05 p.m. The Hot Rods clinched the series victory with Saturday's win and currently lead the series 4-1.

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