Greenville Drops Series Opener at Rome
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Greenville Drive claimed an early lead over the Rome Braves on Wednesday night, but a three-run fifth gave the Braves the 4-3 victory in the series opener at State Mutual Stadium.
Greenville opened the game with a run in the first. Tyler Esplin tripled with one out and Kole Cottam and Jordan Wren followed with back-to-back walks, loading the bases. Triston Casas then scored Esplin with an RBI fielder's choice to short, putting the Drive in front 1-0.
Rome tied the game in the second. After a one-out double by Griffin Benson, Carlos Paraguate singled to right three batters later to score him and tie the game at 1-1.
The Drive retook the lead with two more runs in the third. Esplin led off the inning with a single and Cottam followed with a double to center to put runners in scoring position. Wren then tripled to center to bring home both runners and put Greenville on top 3-1.
Rome grabbed the lead for good in the fifth. Trey Harris singled to center, scoring two runs to tie the game at 3-3. Benson grounded in to a double play two batters later but scored the go-ahead run from third to put the Braves ahead 4-3.
Rome starter Alan Rangel (2-1) picked up the win, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks in 5.0 innings pitched. Drive reliever Angel Padron (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing a run on a hit and three walks in 2.0 innings pitched with three strikeouts. Lukas Young picked up his fifth save of the season, working a scoreless ninth inning.
Four Drive players recorded multi-hit games. Esplin was 2-for-5 with a pair of runs, while Cottam went 2-for-3 with a run and Wren went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Brandon Howlett added a 2-for-4 effort on the night. Rio Gomez kept the Drive in a position to rally, tossing the final 2.0 innings of the game and allowing just a lone hit with two strikeouts.
The series continues on Thursday with first pitch at 7:05. RHP Thaddeus Ward (1-2, 3.60 ERA) takes the mound for Greenville, facing off against LHP Gabriel Noguera (0-1, 5.63 ERA).
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