Charleston, SC - Behind a gem of a start from Darwinzon Hernandez and some clutch hitting in the late innings, the Greenville Drive defeated the Charleston RiverDogs 4-1 on Wednesday night to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Southern Division Championship series.
Hernandez wasn't fazed by the bright lights of the postseason, as he thoroughly dominated a solid RiverDogs lineup to the tune of just two hits and one run over seven innings. The southpaw also struck out six without issuing a walk.
On the other side, Charleston starter Freicer Perez was terrific as well, holding the Drive scoreless over six innings while striking out nine and allowing four hits.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when Carlos Vidal cracked a two-out solo homer to right field off Hernandez to put the RiverDogs ahead 1-0.
The Drive answered right back in the seventh to take the lead for good. After Bobby Dalbec was hit by a pitch and Pedro Castellanos drew a walk, a passed ball moved both runners up, and Tucker Tubbs lined a game-tying single to right off Garrett Mundell. After a pitching change, Jagger Rusconi came up as a pinch hitter and delivered an infield single to the right side to put Greenville ahead.
In the next two innings, the Drive used the long ball to extend the lead. Roldani Baldwin lifted a high, soaring fly ball just inside the left field foul pole in the eighth, and Tubbs blasted a solo shot of his own in the ninth to make the score 4-1.
Tubbs went 3-4 with two RBI to pace the Drive offense. Joan Martinez entered in the eighth and threw a pair of scoreless frames to nail down the save.
After an off day, the series shifts to Greenville on Friday night. First pitch from Fluor Field is set for 7:05 PM. The Drive will go for a series sweep and a spot in the South Atlantic League Championship Series with right-hander Bryan Mata on the mound, while the RiverDogs will counter with right-hander Rony Garcia.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.