Rome, GA - Pitching was the story of Tuesday night's game between the Greenville Drive and the Rome Braves, and it was the Braves who came through in the final inning to win 2-1 in walkoff fashion.
Both teams received incredible efforts from their starting pitchers. Jhonathan Diaz continued his outstanding season for the Drive (36-28, 61-72) with eight innings of one-run ball. The southpaw struck out four while giving up just four hits and two walks.
He was matched by Braves (27-34, 67-63) starter Walter Borkovich, who threw eight innings of his own and allowed just one run with three strikeouts.
The Braves broke the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the ninth and walked off with a win. They loaded the bases after a single by AJ Graffanino, a double by Jefrey Ramos and an intentional walk to Drew Lugbauer. Juan Florentino (5-5) got the next batter to strike out before Hagen Owenby lifted a game-winning sacrifice fly to center field.
Garrett Benge plated the Drive's lone run of the game in the top of the first inning by singling home Jarren Duran, who singled and stole second. Benge and Duran each collected two hits for Greenville, and the stolen base was Duran's 10th in 24 games with the Drive.
Rome answered with a run in the bottom of the second as Lugbauer was hit by a pitch and later scored on a single by Derian Cruz.
Brooks Wilson (1-0) pitched a perfect top of the ninth to get the win for the Braves.
The series continues on Wednesday night with a 7:00 first pitch. The Drive will send right-hander Alex Scherff (1-5, 5.56) to the mound to face Braves right-hander Odalvi Javier (3-10, 4.30).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.