Greenville, SC - The Greenville Drive completed their first series sweep of the season in exciting fashion on Sunday, as Tanner Nishioka singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Drive a 7-6 win over the Asheville Tourists at Fluor Field.
The win was extra dramatic considering the Drive (16-38) entered the final half inning trailing by one. Frankie Rios continued his outstanding homestand with a one out single, and he scooted to second on Michael Osinski's single. Victor Acosta then dumped a bloop single into shallow left, and Rios charged home with the tying run.
Two batters later, Nishioka lined a full count single into left field off Tommy Doyle (2-4), and with the runners on the move, Osinski easily came in to score the winning run to complete the sweep.
Devon Fisher (2-3) pitched a perfect top half of the ninth to get the win for Greenville.
Sunday's contest was a back-and-forth affair from the get-go. The Drive took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Lorenzo Cedrola led off with a double, and he came in to score on Acosta's infield single with two outs.
The first of several lead changes came in the second inning, when Chad Spanberger led off with a solo homer to tie the game and a Drive error put the Tourists (20-34) ahead 2-1. Not to be outdone, the Drive came back with two runs in the bottom half thanks to a two-run single from Cedrola.
The score held at 3-2 until the sixth inning as both starters settled in. Denyi Reyes allowed just one earned run over five innings, while Asheville's Lucas Gilbreath struck out eight Drive hitters in six innings.
Spanberger struck again in the sixth, as he welcomed new Drive pitcher Angel Padron with a solo shot to center to tie the game at three, giving him four home runs in the series.
Austin Bernard put the Tourists ahead 4-3 with a solo homer in the top of the seventh, but three doubles in the bottom half by Jagger Rusconi, Cedrola and Rios put Greenville back on top.
Once again, Asheville roared right back to take a 6-5 lead after an RBI triple by Taylor Snyder and a run-scoring groundout by Shael Mendoza.
Cedrola went 3-5 with three RBI atop the Greenville lineup, and Acosta, Nishioka, Osinski, Rios and Kervin Suarez all notched two hits apiece.
The Drive have an off day on Monday before hitting the road on Tuesday for a doubleheader against the Augusta GreenJackets, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. First pitch for the twinbill is at 4:35 PM. Greenville will send right-hander Kutter Crawford (0-2, 2.22) to the mound in game one, followed by left-hander Enmanuel De Jesus (1-0, 3.46) in game two.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.