Mike McCarthy fired seven scoreless innings and got the win for the Greenville Drive as they bested the Charleston RiverDogs, 4-3, in South Atlantic League action on Thursday night at Fluor Field.
The RiverDogs' record now stands at 57-51 (18-23 in the second half) following this loss to the now 54-56 (20-20 in the second half) Drive.
Both starting pitchers were sharp in this one and kept the lineups off balance. Charleston's Will Oliver (3-5) allowed only two runs on eight hits and one walk in six innings with three strikeouts. The only blemishes on his line came in the third, when Jose Garcia doubled and scored on a groundout, and in the sixth, when Garin Cecchini (2-4, run) scored on a double play.
Unfortunately for Oliver, McCarthy (3-4) was a little better. In seven frames of shutout ball, he gave up five hits and didn't issue a walk. The right-hander also induced two double plays and struck out one.
The only RiverDogs' player who seemed to be able to solve the Drive starter was Ben Gamel, who had two hits off him and finished 2-4 on the night. The two knocks gave Gamel his third consecutive multi-hit game.
In the seventh, Greenville jumped on new pitcher Joel De La Cruz for two insurance runs. Jose Vinicio and Keury De La Cruz (1-3, 2 RBI) each drove in a run with an RBI single to make the score 4-0 heading into the eighth.
Those extra runs proved to be critical, as Charleston mounted a threat in the ninth, but fell just short. Cito Culver started things with a double and he scored on a single by Robert Refsnyder. Another single and a walk then loaded the bases and a two-run single by Francisco Arcia made it a one run game. That was as close as they would get. Nathan Striz struck out the next two batters to end the game for his sixth save, leaving the tying run just 90 feet away.
The RiverDogs head to Augusta for a four game set against the GreenJackets starting on Friday night with game one scheduled to begin at 7:05 pm. They will have RHP Philip Wetherell (4-5, 6.63 ERA) on the mound against RHP Paul Davis (5-4, 3.40 ERA).