KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2012) -- After blowing a ninth inning lead, the Greenville Drive held on to beat the Kannapolis Intimidators, 5-4, in 10 innings on Wednesday night at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. The Intimidators trailed, 4-3, with two outs in the ninth inning before Bill Rice singled, stole second and scored on a Grant Buckner base hit to force the extra inning.
Garin Cecchini singled, stole second and scored on a Blake Swihart hit in the top of the 10th inning to put the Drive back in front, 5-4. Drive closer Nate Striz (2-3) bounced back from giving up a run in the ninth to work a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th for the win. Jason Van Skike (4-1) took the loss for the Intimidators.
The Drive took advantage of a two-out Joe De Pinto error that extended the top of the fifth inning. Cecchini put Greenville in front with a two-run triple, and Henry Ramos followed with a base hit to bring Cecchini home for a 4-1 lead.
The Intimidators chipped away at the Drive's lead with runs in the fifth and sixth inning. Bill Rice led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple, and Grant Buckner's sac-fly brought him home. Adam Heisler drove in De Pinto with a base hit in the sixth.
The Intimidators scored first when Martin Medina, Joe De Pinto and Adam Heisler all singled to load the bases in the second inning, and Bill Rice drew a bases-loaded walk to push across a run. Greenville got the run back in the fourth inning on a Henry Ramos RBI-single, tying the game 1-1.
Kannapolis starter Chris Hanna gave up four runs (one earned) on seven hits, walking two and striking out one, in 5.0 innings. Daniel Webb worked 3.0 scoreless relief innings, facing the minimum despite allowing a walk and a hit.
The Intimidators and Drive play the series rubber match on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. For ticket information, call the box office at (704) 932-3267 or visit www.IntimidatorsBaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.