Drive Ride Early Lead to Victory on Sunday

Nishioka homers for third straight night and drives in five

(Gwinn Davis)

By Cameron White / Greenville Drive | September 2, 2018 9:51 PM

Greenville, SC - Behind standout performances from Tanner Nishioka at the plate and Jhonathan Diaz on the mound, the Greenville Drive defeated the Lexington Legends 7-4 on Sunday night with 5,202 fans in attendance at Fluor Field.

A four-run bottom of the first for the Drive (38-31, 63-75) was powered by Nishioka, who smacked a three-run home run to left-center field, giving him three straight games with a homer, as well as 11 long balls on the season. Jarren Duran drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI single off Collin Snider (5-7).  

The run support gave Diaz (11-8) plenty to work with, but he was outstanding on his own in shutting out the Legends (39-28, 76-59) for seven innings. He gave up just four hits and one walk with six strikeouts. Diaz ends his 2018 campaign as the Drive's single-season record holder with 153 innings and 147 strikeouts, and his 11 victories tie him for third in franchise history in a season.

The Drive stretched their lead to 7-0 through four innings. Everlouis Lozada singled with one out in the third and later scored on a groundout by Jordan Wren, while Nishioka singled home two more runs in the fourth.

Lexington received a strong relief effort from Robert Garcia on Sunday, as the southpaw held the Drive scoreless over five innings with six strikeouts.

The Legend snapped the shutout with four runs in the ninth, only one of which was earned thanks to a passed ball and a Drive error. Sebastian Rivero added a two-run single with two outs, but Zach Schellenger struck out the final hitter to end the game.

Nishioka finished the night 3-5 with a career-high five RBI. Samuel Miranda and Zach Sterry added two hits apiece for Greenville.

The final game of the 2018 season begins at 2:05 PM on Labor Day at Fluor Field. The Drive will send right-hander Alex Scherff (1-5, 5.25) to the mound, and he will be opposed by Legends left-hander Garrett Davila (7-6, 4.07).

~Greenville Drive~

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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