Cody Koback lined an RBI triple into the right field corner in the ninth inning to give the Greenville Drive a 3-2 win over the Charleston RiverDogs in South Atlantic League action in front of 2,718 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Monday night.
The loss puts the RiverDogs at 53-39 (14-11 in the second half) and they will be trying for a series split with a win tomorrow over the now 45-49 Drive (11-13 in the second half).
"That was a tough loss. Greenville came up with a big hit in the ninth to win it," said RiverDogs manager Carlos Mendoza. "After a shaky first inning, Matt Bashore bounced back and gave us a solid outing. The Greenville pitchers did a good job keeping us off balance. We are just going to go out there tomorrow and try and split this series."
The rally that produced the winning run started when Henry Ramos singled to right. Two batters later, Koback (1-3, RBI) ripped one into right off of pitcher Nick Goody (0-1) that brought Ramos all the way around with the go-ahead run. Nefi Ogando (2-4) got the win after pitching two innings, including a scoreless eighth and Matty Ott closed the game for his fourth save.
Greenville wasted no time taking the lead against starting pitcher Matt Bashore. After consecutive singles opened the game, Garin Cecchini doubled down the right field line to pick up an RBI. A David Renfroe groundout brought in another run for a quick 2-0 lead.
The RiverDogs were unable to answer against Drive starter Luis Diaz, who neutralized their lineup for much of the game. After a perfect fifth, Diaz had retired 13 out of the last 14 batters. In the sixth, Charleston was able to get a run off him when Ali Castillo doubled and scored on a fielder's choice. Diaz left after six innings having allowed one run on five hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
In the seventh, with the score still 2-1, the RiverDogs tied the game when Eduardo Sosa doubled and scored on a two-out RBI single by Cody Grice (1-1, RBI). Meanwhile, reliever Joel De La Cruz shut down Greenville's potent offense, as he allowed just one walk in two scoreless innings. Goody followed with a scoreless eighth, but was beaten in the ninth.