Tyler Austin homered and drove in three runs in a 5-3 win for the Charleston RiverDogs over the Greenville Drive on Sunday afternoon in South Atlantic League action in front of 5,623 at Fluor Field.
The RiverDogs managed to salvage a series split with the win and improved to 34-22, while Greenville's record is now 29-27.
In a reversal of the last two nights, it was the RiverDogs who took the early lead against Greenville's Madison Younginer (1-6). Mason Williams singled to lead off the ballgame, moved to third on an error and scored on a single by Austin (3-4, HR, 3 RBI, run). The RiverDogs made it 2-0 in the third when they parlayed three singles into another run, with Gary Sanchez knocking in Nick McCoy (2-4, 2 runs).
In the fourth, Charleston staged a two-out rally that stretched their lead to four. An RBI single by Williams plated one run and, two batters later, Austin dropped another single into left to pick up his second RBI of the day. The RiverDogs piled up nine hits in the first four innings and all of them were singles.
Greenville put together their first real threat of the game in the fifth when Blake Swihart started the inning with a single and a walk to the next batter put two men on. An RBI single by Keury De La Cruz made the score 4-1, but the runner from first was thrown out at third to end the inning and prevent further damage. The Drive's lineup was held in check for most of the day by starter Will Oliver (2-2), who allowed three runs on six hits in six and two thirds innings.
Austin's third hit of the day came in the seventh in the form of his league-leading 14th home run of the season over Fluor Field's version of the Green Monster in left field. The Drive responded in their half of the inning, as Jose Garcia (1-4, HR, 2 RBI, run) cleared the wall in left for a two-run homer that made the score 5-3 and finished Oliver's day.
Dan Mahoney took over for Oliver in the seventh and got into a jam in the eighth, when a single and a double put men on second and third with one out. Mahoney held fast, however, retiring the next two batters without allowing a run. Ben Paullus pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save.
The RiverDogs have Monday off and on Tuesday, they begin a six game homestand with the first of three against the Hickory Crawdads. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm and LHP Evan Rutckyj (1-2, 9.90 ERA) will start for Charleston against RHP Nicholas Martinez (1-1, 3.99 ERA). Fans who visit the stadium box office on the day of the game will be able to take advantage of buy-one, get-one ticket offers on Two-for-Tuesday.