Charleston starter Nick Green went toe-to-toe with Greenville hurler Hildemaro Requena for nearly six scoreless innings as the Drive pulled away to end the RiverDogs’ season with a 5-0 win on Saturday night at Fluor Field, taking the SAL Southern Division Series two games to one.
Green (0-1) set down 13 men in a row to start the ballgame for Charleston (1-2) who were knocked out in the first-round of the postseason for the second consecutive year, marking their second season of 77 wins between the regular season and postseason, both the most since 2008. Green was perfect until giving up a pair of singles back-to-back in the fifth, weaseling out of his first jam with the help of a double play.
The Drive opened the scoring in the sixth to make it 2-0. Green walked catcher Isias Lucena to lead off the frame before centerfielder Jagger Rusconi reached on an error. Shortstop Santiago Espinal roped a single into centefield to score Lucena before Rusconi was cut down at the plate on a perfect throw by former Gamecock Dom Thompson-Williams. Second baseman Brett Netzer made it a 2-0 Drive lead by singling in the next at-bat.
It marked the third time in the series that the game remained scoreless heading into the sixth. The Drive and RiverDogs scored a combined 13 runs over the final four innings over the course of the three games.
The RiverDogs had their best chance to get on the board in the eighth. Designated hitter Dermis Garcia singled to lead off the inning before catcher Ryan Lidge walked. Thompson-Williams hit into a fielder’s choice that put runners at the corners with one out and stole second. Jose Carrera and Diego Castillo each grinded out double-digit pitch at-bats, but struck out and flew out respectively to end the threat after fouling off several tough pitches.
Bobby Dalbec plunged the dagger in the RiverDogs’ season with a three-run blast launched out of the ballpark to left field in the eighth that made it 5-0 Greenville in the ninth.
Green finished going 5 1/3 with two runs allowed to suffer the loss after a perfect start to the night. Matt Wivinis gave up the homer in the ninth one night after securing the save that kept Charleston’s season alive.
The RiverDogs loaded up the bases with three walks by Joan Martinez in the top of the ninth to bring the tying run to the on-deck circle, but catcher Eduardo Navas flew out to end the ballgame.
Requena (1-0) went 7 1/3 shutout innings for the Drive, striking out four and yielding just four hits to garner the win.