ROME, Ga. - Big innings were key in the four-game series between the Greenville Drive and the Rome Braves and Sunday's series finale proved no different. The Drive (4-6) put together a four-run fourth inning but it was a six-run fifth by the Braves (4-6) that was ultimately consequential, as Rome held on for an 8-7 victory to take the series at State Mutual Stadium.
For the second straight game, the Drive offense came alive in the fourth with four runs coming across to break another 1-1 tie. Back-to-back two-out singles by Juan Carlos Abreu and Korby Batesole put two aboard for Grant Williams, who doubled to score Abreu. After a pitching change, Alan Marrero hit his first home run of the season to push the lead to 5-1.
Rome answered in the fifth, sending six runners across to claim the lead. The first seven batters of the inning reached base thanks to three singles, a double, two walks and an error. Logan Browning came on for the Drive with the bases loaded and no outs, going on to strikeout the side while allowing just a pair of singles to stop the damage with Rome leading 7-5.
Rome added a run in the sixth. Trey Harris led off with a triple and scored two batters later on a bunt single by Jose Bermudez.
Greenville didn't go away, though, scoring two in the eighth to cut the lead to one. The first four batters in the inning reached, as Kervin Suarez reached on an error, Devlin Granberg was hit by a pitch and back-to-back walks by Jordan Wren and Triston Casas made it an 8-6 game with the bases loaded and no outs. Abreu grounded in to a double play but brought home Granberg in the process to make it an 8-7 game. A groundout ended the inning to preserve the one-run lead for Rome.
Rome pitcher Lukas Young, a member of the Drive in 2017 and 2018, retired the Drive in order in the ninth to clinch the victory. Young earned his first save of the season, allowing two unearned runs despite not allowing a hit with two walks and a hit batter in 2.0 innings of work.
Dilmer Mejia (1-0) got the win in his first action of the season, allowing a lone run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in 1.1 innings in relief. Yoan Aybar (0-1) suffered the loss for the Drive, allowing six runs (five earned) on three hits and two walks without recording an out.
Abreu and Batesole led the Drive at the plate, each going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Marrero hit just the second homer of the season by a Drive player to go with three RBI in the contest. Harris put together a three-hit day for Rome, adding two runs and two RBI.
The Drive travel to Charleston for the renewal of the Battle of Palmetto State Rivalry Series, presented by Spinx. The two open a three-game series on Monday with a 7:05 PM first pitch. Greenville sends RHP Alex Scherff (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound, facing off against RHP Alexander Vizcaino (0-0, 1.93 ERA) for Charleston.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.