A seven-run rally in the fifth inning helped propel the Greenville Drive to a 13-8 triumph over the Charleston RiverDogs in South Atlantic League action on Saturday night at Fluor Field in front of a paid crowd of 6,087.
The RiverDogs are still searching for their first win in the second half, falling to 0-3. Greenville has yet to lose in the second half, as they stand at 3-0.
Henry Owens (8-2) started for the Drive and was greeted rudely by Mason Williams (2-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 runs), who began the game by knocking one over the right field wall for his sixth homer of the year. It was also the second time in three days Williams has led off a game with a home run. Charleston starter Scottie Allen ran into trouble in the bottom of the first, as the first three hitters reached to load the bases with no one out. While one run did score, Allen settled down and got out of the jam with the game still tied.
After missing the chance to take the lead in the first, Greenville was not to be denied in the second. Matt Marquis (3-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs) started the frame with his first homer of the year to make the score 2-1. The Drive then manufactured another run in the inning when Jordan Weems worked a walk, went to second on a groundout, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Jose Garcia (2-3, 3 RBI, 3 runs).
The RiverDogs jumped back in front in the fifth, starting with a triple by Dante Bichette, Jr. Bichette crossed the plate on a double by Reymond Nunez (2-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 runs) and, after a walk, Williams came up big again, lining one into the right field corner for a two-run triple. An RBI single by the next batter, Angelo Gumbs, completed a four-run rally for Charleston that put them ahead 5-3.
Brett Gerritse (1-3) relieved Allen in the fifth and tried to hold the lead, but he wasn't up to the task. The first batter he faced, Drew Turocy, doubled. Blake Swihart followed with an RBI single and another single and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out. An error allowed Swihart to score the tying run and a single by Garcia brought in two runs, with the second run scoring on another error. Greenville showed no signs of letting up, as Cody Koback (2-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs) was up next and grounded one back through the middle for two more runs. After a Garin Cecchini single knocked out Gerritse in favor of Mariel Checo, Koback scored on a groundout for the final run in Greenville's second seven-run inning of the series.
Nunez cut into the five run deficit in the sixth when he jumped on a pitch from reliever Matty Ott for a long two-run homer, his fourth of the season, to pull his team to within 10-7, but that was as close as the RiverDogs would come. In the seventh, three straight walks loaded the bases again with nobody out for the Drive. Moanaroa hit a sacrifice fly and Blake Swihart lined a single into left for two RBIs, stretching the lead to six runs.
An RBI single by Ben Gamel in the eighth was the last run Charleston would get on the evening. Michael McCarthy closed things out on the mound for Greenville.
These two teams will finish up their four game series on Sunday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 pm. The RiverDogs will send RHP Bryan Mitchell (4-5, 3.75 ERA) to the hill, while Greenville will counter with RHP Luis Diaz (1-3, 6.12 ERA).