Late Innings Lift Tourists Past Drive, 7-6
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Jordan Wren reached base five times, including three singles and a double, but two late-inning home runs pushed the Asheville Tourists past the Greenville Drive, 7-6, on Sunday afternoon.
Greenville got on the board first in the bottom of the second. Jordan Wren turned in a one-out single, then Kervin Suarez turned in an RBI triple to the deepest part of Fluor Field. On the next pitch, Jonathan Ortega legged out an infield single to score Suarez to give Greenville a 2-0 lead.
The Drive added to the lead in the bottom of a fifth, after a groundout by Tyler Esplin scored Samuel Miranda to push the lead to 3-0. Drive starter Kevin Biondic then worked around a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth, using a pop Aout and strikeout to keep the Tourists off the board.
Asheville cut into the lead in the top of the seventh, scoring its first run in 15 innings in the series. After a Max George leadoff walk and stolen base, Danny Edgeworth sent a double into the gap in right field, then Niko Decolati followed with a sacrifice fly two batters later to cut the Drive lead to 3-2. Kyle Datres then placed one on top of the Green Monster to give Asheville its first lead of the series at 4-3.
The Tourists extended the lead to 7-3 in the top of the ninth on a three-run home run onto the Green Monster by John Cresto.
Greenville mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth, as Triston Casas doubled home Howlett to cut the lead to 7-4, before Tyler Dearden picked up an RBI on a groundout to score Esplin and pull the Drive within two at 7-5. Wren the laced a two-out single to centerfield to score Casas, but Greenville would not get any closer, falling to Asheville, 7-6.
Biondic (4-8) turned in a strong outing despite the loss, throwing 6.2 innings and allowing four runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts. Asheville reliever Reagan Todd (2-0) earned the win, allowing three hits with no runs and three strikeouts in 2.0 innings pitched.
Wren led Greenville at the plate with his perfect afternoon, adding an RBI, a walk, and a run scored, while Tyler Esplin was 2-for-5 with an RBI on the day. Brandon Howlett reached base four times after being hit by a pitch twice and drawing two walks and six different Drive batters recorded an RBI.
The Drive continues its seven-game homestand on Monday, playing the first in a four-game series against the Augusta GreenJackets. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
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