CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs scored two runs from Tyler Wade while major league veteran Stephen Drew drove in two runs in an 11-3 Greenville Drive victory on Monday evening in front of 3,951 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston is now 25-24 with Greenville improving to 25-23. The Drive move past the RiverDogs for third place in the Southern Division after winning the opener of a four-game set.
The RiverDogs grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Charleston loaded the bases with a single from Wade, a ground-rule double by Michael O'Neill, and an Aaron Judge walk. Mike Ford hit into a double play that allowed Wade to score.
Greenville quickly answered in the second inning, surging ahead 2-1. The bases were full for Jordan Weems, who collected a one-out single to bring in Jantzen Witte for the tying run. Zach Kapstein lined out on a sacrifice fly, scoring Wendell Rijo to put Greenville in front.
A five-run rally in the fourth cushioned the Drive's lead. Four straight singles opened the inning, including run-scoring hits by Weems and Kapstein. Weems scored during a Forrestt Allday groundout that pushed Greenville's advantage to 5-1. With one out, Drew bounced a double down the right field line, scoring Kapstein and Tzu-Wei Lin for a 7-1 Greenville lead.
Wade scored again in the fifth inning to trim the deficit to 7-2. Wade opened the inning with a triple and stayed at third after a walk to O'Neill. Charleston scored when Greenville turned a double play against Judge and Wade trotted home.
The Drive cemented its lead with four runs during the eighth inning. Walks filled the bases early in the frame before Allday drove in Carlos Asuaje with a one-out single. Jimmy Rider brought the lead to 9-2 on a wild pitch. Later in the frame, Witte singled to score Kapstein for an eight-run advantage. The final run scored on a wild pitch as Allday increased Greenville's lead to 11-2.
Charleston walked the bases loaded to open the ninth and start a late comeback attempt. O'Neill hit a sacrifice fly that scored Brandon Thomas and brought the RiverDogs within 11-3. However, a strikeout and a groundout ended the contest.
All nine Greenville starters hit safely, with Drew finishing 1-for-3 with a two-run double in his third game with the Drive. Wade led Charleston with two hits, including a triple, and two runs scored. This also tied the longest game of the 2014 RiverDogs season, lasting three hours and 35 minutes to match the time of a 10-3 win at Savannah on Sunday, May 18.
Raynel Velette earned the win for Greenville, who is 3-0 following three hitless innings with no runs charged to him. Charleston's Ian Clarkin is 1-2 after being tagged with the loss.
BALLPARK FUN: The RiverDogs wore their red jerseys, usually reserved for ISHPI Red Shirt Fridays, to honor veterans on Memorial Day. Stewart Spinx delivered a ceremonial first pitch before Monday's game, which continued the Battle of the Palmetto State Rivalry Series, presented by Spinx. "Dogs with a Cause" featured Habitat for Humanity of Dorchester County.
COMING UP: A doubleheader between the RiverDogs and the Drive is scheduled to start at 6:05pm on Tuesday. Charleston will start LHP Caleb Smith (3-3, 1.28 ERA) and RHP Jaron Long (2-1, 2.13 ERA) in the two games against Greenville LHP Daniel McGrath (1-1, 4.50 ERA) and RHP Myles Smith (2-1, 6.68 ERA), respectively. Gates open at 5pm for Re-Opening Night, featuring a pregame parade with player arrivals on horse-drawn carriages. Harris Teeter 2-for-$20 Date Night Tuesday includes a deal for two tickets to the twin bill, two tacos, two fountain drinks and a nacho tray for just $20 for couples that show their VIC Card at the box office. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1hrS3dt