Behind Zach Sterry’s perfect afternoon at the plate, the Greenville Drive offense collected 15 hits as they cruised to a 9-3 win over the Asheville Tourists on Sunday afternoon.
Sterry was a perfect 4-4 at the plate, and he drove home runs with singles in the fifth and eighth innings. The four hits matched his career high, which he previously set on May 14th in Lexington.
The Drive (9-9, 34-53) offense got going one batter into the game, as Kervin Suarez belted a leadoff homer to right off Will Gaddis. The long ball was Suarez’s fifth of the season, and it was the Drive’s second leadoff homer of the road trip, as Tanner Nishioka belted one of his own on Thursday in Columbia. Marino Campana added a sacrifice fly in the frame.
Nic Motley’s two-run double in the second tied the game up at two, but the Drive took the lead for good in the fourth on Isaias Lucena’s RBI single off Nate Harris (2-1).
Ryan Fitzgerald cracked a solo homer leading off the fifth for the Drive, marking his second straight game with a home run. Sterry’s RBI single extended the lead to 5-2.
A three-run seventh was highlighted by RBI doubles from Campana and Lucena, and Sterry’s RBI hit in the ninth capped the Greenville scoring.
Todd Czinege hit a solo homer for the Tourists (11-5, 38-47) in the seventh.
Jhonathan Diaz (5-5) got the win for the Drive with six and one-third solid innings, as he allowed three runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Juan Florentino fired two and two-third scoreless frames of relief to finish the game.
In addition to Sterry’s four hits, the Drive received two-hit games from Campana, Fitzgerald, Lucena and Garrett Benge.
The rubber game of the series is set for a 7:05 first pitch on Monday night in Asheville. The Drive will send right-hander Denyi Reyes (7-3, 1.94) to the hill against Tourists right-hander Frederis Parra (0-0, 11.25).
(Written by Cameron White, Greenville Drive.)