Greenville, SC - The Greenville Drive offense took care of business early and often on Saturday night at Fluor Field, pounding out 16 hits in a 13-5 blowout of the Asheville Tourists. The Drive have now clinched a victory of the three-game series.
Trailing 3-0 entering the bottom of the second, the Drive (15-38) combined several timely hits with shaky defense by the Tourists (20-33) to take a 5-3 lead. After a two-out error extended the inning, Tanner Nishioka got his big night started with a two-run triple off the center field wall. He came home when Lorenzo Cedrola reached on another error to tie the game. Frankie Rios followed with a single to plate Cedrola, and Marino Campana's RBI double down the left field line capped the big frame.
Asheville scored all five of their runs via the home run. They took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to back-to-back homers, a two-run shot by Sean Bouchard and a solo blast by Chad Spanberger. They tied the game at five in the third when Spanberger lifted a two-run homer to right.
The game remained tied at five until the fifth, and the Drive scored eight unanswered runs over the next three innings to run away for good. With two on and two outs in the fifth, Kervin Suarez brought home a run with an infield single to third base, and the ensuing throwing error to first by Asheville scored the tying run. Suarez then scored on an RBI single by Charlie Madden to make the score 6-5, and Nishioka followed with an RBI single of his own.
Rios continued his strong series by leading off the sixth with a single, and he followed by stealing second before scoring on a pair of wild pitches. He added a two-run double in the seventh before coming home on an RBI hit from Campana.
Nishioka led the Drive offense by going 4-4 with three RBI. Rios and Suarez added three hits apiece, while Campana reached base five times with two hits and three walks.
Hildemaro Requena (1-1) got the win for Greenville. He settled down after allowing five runs over the first three innings, as he retired nine of ten hitters over his final three frames. Antonio Santos (1-7) gave up seven runs, but only two earned, for Asheville to take the loss.
The Drive will go for a sweep of the series on Sunday afternoon at Fluor Field at 4:05. Right-hander Denyi Reyes (4-3, 2.26) will take the mound for the Drive in his first start since his complete game shutout in Columbia last Sunday, and the Tourists will counter with left-hander Lucas Gilbreath (3-3, 7.23).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.