Koss Smacks Game-Winning Homer in Ninth; Drive Win, 4-3, for Sixth-Straight Triumph

A baseball player up at bat.
Greenville Drive

The Crawdads tied the game with two runs in the eighth inning but Christian Koss belted a two-out, game-winning homer in the top of the ninth inning to propel Greenville to a 4-3 win and their sixth-straight triumph Sunday afternoon at L.P. Frans Stadium.

It is the second time this year the Drive swept a six-game series, the first coming against the Rome Braves (August 3-August 8).

The offense combined for eight hits, two doubles and two homers. Four Drive players were responsible for hits, all tallying two: Koss, Elih Marrero, Tyler Dearden and Tyler Esplin. Koss went 2-for-4 with a double, homer, run, RBI and walk. Dearden led the way with two RBI, a homer and a run. Esplin compiled a double and single while Marrero stroked two singles.

Brendan Cellucci got the win in relief. He allowed two runs over 1.0 inning of work. Oddanier Mosqueda pitched 1.0 inning to earn his second save of the year. Chase Shugart started for the Drive and did not factor into the decision. He hurled 5.0 innings and relented just one run on seven hits and one walk.

Juan Mejia took the loss after allowing the run in the ninth.

After three scoreless frames, the Drive took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Brandon Howlett drew a leadoff walk. After an out, Jaxx Groshans grounded into a forceout, trading places with Howlett. Tyler Esplin then singles to put runners at first and second. The next batter, Jake MacKenzie, reached via an error to load the bases. And with Cole Brannen up, Groshans scored on a wild pitch.

But Hickory quickly tied it in the bottom half of the frame when Pedro Gonzalez grounded into a doubleplay with a runner on third.

The Drive then struck back in their next turn at the plate. Koss doubled to start the frame. Two batters later, Dearden blasted his 24th clout, a two-run shot, to give the away team a 3-1 advantage.

For the second time the Crawdads tied the game, 3-3. In the eighth inning, Trevor Hauver singled home a run and then Gonzalez hit a sac fly.

However, Koss gave Greenville the lead for good when he smacked the go-ahead, game-winning clout with two outs in the ninth inning.

After an off-day Monday, the Drive will begin a six-game series, the last one of the season, against the Aberdeen Ironbirds, affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, beginning Tuesday at 7:00 PM.

Visit milb.com/greenville for additional information and to purchase tickets.

Prepared by the Greenville Drive.