The fans who braved a chilly night and a pregame rain delay of over an hour were rewarded in the end, as Aneury Tavarez lined an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the 10th to give the Greenville Drive (9-14) a 5-4 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds (12-11) on Saturday night at Fluor Field.
The winning rally began with one out in the 10th when Drew Turocy drew a walk against Shorebirds reliever Williams Louico (0-1). Boss Moanaroa lined a single to right to put runners on the corners, and with the infield drawn in, Tavarez played the role of hero by lining a 1-2 pitch to center, igniting a celebration behind the pitcher's mound.
Madison Younginer (1-0) picked up the victory after throwing an inning and a third of scoreless relief and striking out two. The Drive also got outstanding relief from JB Wendelken, who retired the first 13 batters he faced before running out of steam in the ninth inning. He threw four and two-thirds, allowing two hits and two runs while punching out three hitters.
Wendelken got the first out of the ninth, but back-to-back doubles by Wynston Sawyer and Torsten Boss cut the Drive lead to 4-3. After a balk put Boss at third, Roderick Bernadina lined out to Mookie Betts at second, but Betts' attempt to double Boss off third sailed away and allowed the tying run to come across.
The Drive got on the board quickly in the bottom of the first, as Betts laced a triple to left-center and came in to score when Delmarva starter Brady Wager uncorked a wild pitch.
Delmarva took the lead in the third with two runs against Drive starter Brian Johnson. Bernadina laid down a bunt single to begin the frame, and two batters later, Gregory Lorenzo tied the game at one with a triple to right field. Adrian Marin followed with an RBI groundout to third to give the Shorebirds 2-1.
Greenville retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth, as Turocy tripled to center to begin the inning, and Moanaroa followed with a double to left-center to knot the game at two. After Delmarva brought in Miguel Chalas to try and get out of trouble, Jordan Weems laced a double into the right-center gap to give the Drive a 3-2 lead.
Doubles by Turocy and David Chester in the bottom of the eighth extended the Drive lead to 4-2.
Chester had three hits on the evening for the Drive. Turocy added a pair of hits and three runs, while Moanaroa picked up two hits as well. Lorenzo led the way for Delmarva with three hits, while Sawyer collected two hits.
The same two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon at Fluor Field, with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 PM. RHP Austin Maddox (0-2, 6.75) gets the starting call for the Drive, while the Shorebirds will counter with RHP Mark Blackmar (0-1, 5.40).