North Augusta, SC - A strong start to the month continued for the Greenville Drive on Thursday night, as they defeated the Augusta GreenJackets 5-4 to clinch a victory of the four-game series. The Drive now boast a 6-1 record since the calendar turned to June.
With the score knotted up at three in the seventh, the Drive (19-39) plated a pair of runs to take the lead against Tyler Schimpf (0-1). With one out in the inning, Lorenzo Cedrola was hit by a pitch and Frankie Rios drew a walk. Victor Acosta completed his strong offensive night with a single to bring home the go-ahead run, and Isaias Lucena followed with an RBI single of his own to make the score 5-3.
Lucena's RBI single proved to be crucial, as Heliot Ramos smacked a two-out solo homer in the bottom half of the seventh to trim the Drive lead to one, but Juan Florentino (4-1) rebounded to get out of the frame with the lead still intact.
Devon Fisher worked two scoreless innings for the Drive to nail down his second save of the season.
A three-run first inning gave the Drive an early lead. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Acosta reached on a fielder's choice to score the first run, and a GreenJackets (35-23) error brought home a second. Tanner Nishioka then doubled to center to score Acosta for a 3-0 lead.
Augusta started chipping away at the lead in the second on a solo homer by Ryan Kirby, and they cut the lead to 3-2 after a Drive error in the third.
Those were the only runs allowed by Alex Scherff, and just one of those runs was earned. Scherff worked four and two-third innings and set a career-high with seven strikeouts.
Kirby struck again for the GreenJackets against Florentino in the sixth, as he lined an RBI triple to right.
Acosta went 3-4 with a pair of RBI to pace the Drive offense.
The Drive begin their final homestand of the first half on Friday night at 7:05 with a three-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs, an affiliate of the New York Yankees. The opening game of the Battle of the Palmetto State presented by Spinx will see Drive right-hander Hildemaro Requena (1-1, 9.00) face off against RiverDogs right-hander Alexander Vargas (3-1, 4.88).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.