CHARLESTON, SC - Eight of the nine Greenville Drive starters had at least one hit and scored at least one run for the last place Drive in a 12-2 win over the first place Charleston RiverDogs in South Atlantic League play Friday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 4,981 fans. It was Greenville's first road win in nearly a month and a half.
With the loss, the RiverDogs drop to 27-18 on the season but remain in first place in the Southern Division, just a half a game ahead of the second place Savannah Sand Gnats. With the win Greenville moves to 14-33 on the season and remains in last place in the Southern Division.
In a battle between two winless pitchers, Justin Haley (1-6) picked up his first victory for the Drive over Daniel Camarena who now drops to 0-3 on the season with the loss. Haley pitched five innings, allowed one run on five hits, and recorded eight strikeouts. In four innings of work, Camarena allowed six runs on nine hits and struck out one batter.
Mookie Betts, the leadoff batter for Greenville, began the evening by belting his eighth home run of the season over the left field wall and gave the Drive an early 1-0 lead that they we not relinquish.
Greenville added another run in the top of the third. Jose Vinicio led off the inning with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and then scored on an Aneury Tavarez double.
The Drive lead was cut in half in the bottom of the third with back-to-back doubles by Taylor Dugas and Fu-Lin Kuo.
Greenville extended its lead to 6-1 in the top of the fourth inning. With runners on first and second, Bryan Johns hit a triple into the left field corner that scored Kevin Mager and Jayson Hernandez. Johns then scored the fifth Drive run on a Vinicio single to right field. Vinicio then advanced to third on a RiverDogs error and scored on a wild pitch.
Another Drive run was added in the sixth inning. After walking and advancing to second on a fielders' choice, Betts scored on a Cody Koback single to right field.
After extending his hitting streak to a team best 10 games with a single in the fourth inning, Dante Bichette, Jr. (3-4, HR) made the score 7-2 with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. It was his fourth home run of the season.
Greenville added five insurance runs in the last two frames. In the eighth inning Vinicio scored on a Koback single to center field. Then, with runners on the corners, David Chester hit his eighth home run of the season and extended the lead to 11-2. Hernandez led off the ninth inning with a double to right center field and then scored on a Vinicio double to deep center.
BALLPARK FUN: Local students who have participated in the RiverDogs reading program were at The Joe for Reading and Running with the RiverDogs Night! It was a General Dynamics Land Systems-Force Protection Red Shirt Friday as fans who wore red received $1 off their ticket from the box office and had the option to donate that dollar to Carolina Canines. In addition, there was also a Piggly Wiggly Postgame Fireworks display.