ASHEVILLE- A lot of things need to go right in order to pitch a shutout at McCormick Field. You need to eliminate the big hit, play exceptional defense, and have a starting pitcher set the tone early just to name a few. The Greenville Drive accomplished all three and in
ASHEVILLE- A lot of things need to go right in order to pitch a shutout at McCormick Field. You need to eliminate the big hit, play exceptional defense, and have a starting pitcher set the tone early just to name a few. The Greenville Drive accomplished all three and in turn shutout the Asheville Tourists 6-0 in front of their home crowd.
Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to your opponents. Asheville’s offense battled all night. The Tourists recorded six hits, worked four walks, and even stole a couple of bases. There were several loud outs in rally situations and a number of tremendous defensive plays made by Greenville.
The Drive took a 1-0 lead when the first batter of the ballgame, Nick Sogard, hit a Home Run to right-center. Greenville took advantage of a throwing error in the following frame to net their second run of the game. In the third, Tyler Dearden blasted a two-out, two-run Home Run to give the Drive a 4-0 advantage.
Asheville’s starting pitcher, Jose Bravo, responded with two consecutive scoreless innings. Juan Pablo Lopez then churned out three straight scoreless frames but the Tourists still trailed 4-0 entering the ninth. Greenville added two insurance runs in the top of the final stanza.
Offensively, Wilyer Abreu led the way with two hits and a walk from the top of the order. Shay Whitcomb, Freudis Nova, and Cesar Salazar all reached base twice. Unfortunately, the Tourists were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Asheville’s best chances were in the sixth and the eighth when they put two men aboard with no outs.
The Drive’s starting pitcher, Grant Gambrell, chewed up five innings with eight strikeouts. A trio of relievers combined to finish the shutout. Jonathan Sprinkle did a nice job in relief late for the Tourists. Sprinkle struck out two of the three batters he faced to escape further damage in the ninth.
With the series knotted up at one game apiece, both teams will take the field on Thursday night at 6:35pm ET.