GREENVILLE, S.C. – Isaiah Pasteur and Wilkerman Garcia drilled a pair of fourth inning home runs to contribute to the RiverDogs’ season-high 12-run onslaught as Charleston rolled past the Drive, 12-4, to cap a series win and a 6-1 road trip on Monday night at Fluor Field.
Pasteur’s three-run blast marked the George Washington U product’s first of the season while Garcia drilled his second of the series and fifth career blast at Fluor Field as the duo each knocked in three on the night. In his first game as the three-spot hitter, Kyle Gray added two RBI of his own, including a bases clearing play in the seventh, when the West Virginia Mountaineer singled on a ball that got past the right fielder and all the way to the wall to cap a five-run inning that put the game out of reach for the Drive (12-18).
Charleston (17-14) wasted little time getting the bats going, whacking the first two pitches of the ballgame for hits off Greenville starter Brayan Bello (1-2). Centerfielder Brandon Lockridge clubbed the first offering of the game off the monster in left and Garcia followed with a base hit up the middle before Gray tallied his first RBI on a fielder’s choice groundout. Catcher Mickey Gasper drilled his first base hit to score another as part of a 2-for-3 day in which he reached in four of five trips to the plate.
Drive pitching issued 11 walks to keep runners on all night long for the RiverDogs, including five in the porous seventh inning that matched Charleston’s biggest run-scoring frame of the season. Despite the offensive output, Charleston’s lineup remarkably struck out 15 times in the win.
RiverDogs starter Roansy Contreras (3-1) was solid to start the night, allowing just a run until he showed signs of fatigue in the sixth. The 19-year-old issued a two-out walk before serving up a 2-0 offering to the first-rounder Triston Casas, who belted it the other way for a two-run home run, his fifth of the season for the Red Sox affiliate. Contreras was chased following the homer in what was a season long 5 2/3 innings outing.
Reliever Dalton Higgins finished the game for Charleston in mop up duty, fanning two of five hitters faced in 1 2/3 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.72. The Dallas Baptist product has now struck out 21 batters without a walk in just shy of 16 innings this year.
Following a 7-1 win on April 17 at The Joe, the RiverDogs’ two largest margins of victory are both against their Red Sox rivals. Charleston has won five of the first seven meetings with the Drive.