Scherff, Offense Shine in Rout of Tourists
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Alex Scherff pitched 7.0 innings while allowing just one run and Greenville pounded out 11 runs on 11 hits to take game one of a three-game series with the Asheville Tourists, 11-1, on Friday night.
After Everlouis Lozada drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first, Tyler Esplin and Triston Casas recorded back-to-back one-out singles to score Lozada and give the Drive the 1-0 lead.
Greenville added to the lead in the bottom of the third. Cole Brannen and Lozada led off the inning with back-to-back singles, before Brandon Howlett drew a walk, after falling behind 0-2, to load the bases. Esplin walked to score Brannen and Lozada scored on a double play to push the Drive lead to 3-0 after three innings.
Kervin Suarez led off the fourth inning with a double into the right-field corner, before Jonathan Ortega executed a perfect bunt down the third-base line to put runners on the corners with no outs. Two batters later, Brannen picked up his second hit of the day to score Suarez for the Drive's fourth run of the night.
Greenville continued to add to the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Howlett led off the inning with a single, Casas turned in a one-out walk, and Jordan Wren doubled to plate Howlett. Kervin Suarez then cleared the bases on a high fly ball that was misplayed by the Asheville centerfielder to plate the Drive's fourth run of the inning and double the lead at 8-0.
The Drive got on the board again in the bottom of the seventh. After Esplin led off the inning with a single and Triston Casas walked, Esplin scored on a passed ball to stretch the lead to 9-0. Suarez continued his hot night at the plate, sending a 418-foot shot over the right-field fence to give the Drive an 11-0 lead.
Asheville got on the board in the top of the eighth after a leadoff walk and eventual sacrifice fly, but Devon Fisher and Oddanier Mosqueda combined for 2.0 innings of relief without allowing a run to give the Drive the 11-1 victory.
Greenville starter Alex Scherff (5-11) allowed just one run in 7.0 innings of work, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out five. Asheville starter Jake Bird (7-2) was tagged with the loss, giving up four runs on seven hits in just 3.1 innings.
Suarez finished the night at 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored, while Esplin was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Wren and Lozada each scored twice and Brannen finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The Drive and Tourists continue the three-game series on Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.
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