Greenville (Greenville Drive) –
The Greenville Drive (1-2) delivered a happy ending for Opening Day at Fluor Field bolstered by the timely hitting of second basemen Chase Meidroth who delivered a 2-for-4 performance at the plate that included a homer and a single to right that drove in the winning run. Drive pitching would take care of the rest shutting down Asheville (0-2) to secure a 7-5 win.
For the third straight game the Drive opened the scoring, this time by a two-run blast to dead-center off the bat of Meidroth in the bottom of the third. The lead would be cut to one when Tourists’ centerfielder Kenedy Corona answered with his own homer to left center in the top of the fourth making it 2-1.
The difference would come in the middle innings for the Drive as they stared down a 5-2 deficit after a top-of-the-fifth grand slam by Asheville’s Tommy Sacco Jr. A one-out ground out by Eddinson Paulino would score Gilberto Jimenez to cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth.
The sixth inning would break the game open for the Drive and end up being the difference maker. With men on second and third thanks to a double by Miguel Ugueto, Max Ferguson’s liner through the right side of the infield would bring both runners home tying the game at five apiece.
Later in the inning and again with two men on, Meidroth would deliver another clutch at-bat. This time his grounder through the right side of the infield would plate Bryan Gonzalez putting the Drive back on top, 6-5. A wild pitch would score Gilberto Jimenez during the ensuing at-bat, boosting the Drive’s lead to 7-5.
A quartet of Drive relievers secured the game, as Nate Tellier, Robert Kwiatkowski, Alex Hoppe and Jaret Godman finished out the last four and two thirds innings, combining for eight strikeouts and no runs given up. Tellier recorded the win and Godman picked up the save for the Drive.
Drive starter Juan Daniel Encarnacion went 4.1 innings, allowing five earned runs on just two hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Opening Day at Fluor Field also marked a historic first as Drive assistant coach Taylor Jackson became the first female on-field coach in team history.
The Greenville Drive continue Opening Week in Greenville with game two of the series against Asheville set for tomorrow at 7:05 p.m