Mason Williams had three hits, including his seventh homer of the year, to help the Charleston RiverDogs defeat the Greenville Drive 7-5 in South Atlantic League action on Sunday afternoon in a five inning, rain-shortened contest at Fluor Field with 5,336 in attendance.
The win broke a five game losing streak for the RiverDogs, who are 39-31 (1-3 in the second half) this season. Greenville had their five game winning streak snapped and fell back to .500 on the year at 37-37 (3-1 in the second half).
For the third time in four days, Charleston grabbed the early lead, as they tallied three runs in the second against pitcher Luis Diaz (1-4). Gary Sanchez was the first batter of the inning and he continued his hot hitting of late when he lifted one over the left field wall for a solo homer. Sanchez's 13th bomb of the year was immediately followed by three straight singles to load the bases. Another run crossed the plate on a double play and a bunt single by Williams (3-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs) later in the inning allowed the third run to score.
In the third, the RiverDogs increased their lead to five when Reymond Nunez and Kelvin De Leon each came up clutch with 2-out RBI singles. Greenville got their first run of the afternoon in the bottom of the inning on a single by Keury De La Cruz (2-3, 2 RBI), but it was immediately matched on back-to-back doubles by Williams and Angelo Gumbs to open up the fourth.
Down by five, the Drive mounted a comeback and got back into the game two innings later. Matt Marquis and Jordan Weems both doubled to start the fifth for one run. Two batters later, De La Cruz came up with two on and lined a double into left to score Weems and send RiverDogs starter Bryan Mitchell (5-5) to the showers. Reliever John Brebbia came in to replace Mitchell, but couldn't stop the bleeding right away. David Renfroe hit into a fielder's choice that scored a run and Boss Moanaroa followed with the fourth double of the inning to make the score 6-5. Brebbia stopped the rally there, however, striking out Henry Ramos to preserve the slim lead and pick up his second save.
The see-saw swung back to Charleston in the sixth, when Williams hit his third homer in four days, depositing a solo shot over the Fluor Field version of the Green Monster in left. Before another pitch could be thrown, a heavy rainfall descended on the ballpark, forcing the game to be delayed and, eventually, declared final.
On Monday, the RiverDogs will be back at home for the first time since the All-Star break to begin a nine game homestand and a four game series with the Savannah Sand Gnats. The first game is scheduled for 7:05 pm with LHP Matt Bashore (0-1, 2.25 ERA) making his Charleston debut against Savannah's RHP Marcos Camarena (5-1, 1.30 ERA).