Chacon, Gonzalez Homer as Drive Fall 6-3 in Mikey Romero’s Fluor Field Debut

First-round draft pick Mikey Romero, taken with the 24th pick by the Boston Red Sox in the 2022 draft, made his Fluor Field debut on Wednesday, going 1-for-4 with a triple.

But his long-awaited debut, after just three road games with Greenville in 2023 after his season was cut short by injury, would be spoiled by the Winston-Salem Dash 6-3 as Juan Chacon and Bryan Gonzale added homers for the Drive.

After cruising through two innings, Drive starter Luis Perales would lose some command in the third, allowing a leadoff walk and a single before balking the runners into scoring position. A nine pitch battle ensued with Loidel Chapelli who ultimately won, rapping a base knock through the infield for a 2-0 Dash lead.

He’d work around the runs, picking up a strikeout before fielding a ball hit hard back to him, that was destined for his face. He’d flip that ball over to Tyler Miller, tagging Chapelli with plenty of time as he raced to third. A long fly-ball out avoided any more damage.

Perales would ultimately stretch his outing to 4.1 innings allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Greenville cut into the lead in their half of the third, as Romero rapped a triple off the base of the wall in left center field. His three-bagger set up a Kristian Campbell RBI-single that extended Campbell’s on-base streak to 21 games and cut the lead to 2-1.

The Dash added a one-out RBI knock from Jacob Gonzalez for a 3-1 lead in the fifth, putting an end to Perales’ night in favor of reliever Zach Fogell. After a quite final two outs of the fifth and easy sixth, Shawn Goosenberg knocked his sixth homer of the year, this one a two-run shot off Fogell for a 5-1 lead.

Fogell would finish the night tossing 2.2 innings, allowing three hits and two runs with a walk and four strikeouts.

Drive pitching coach JP Fasone would be ejected by home plate umpire Justin Hopkins, just one pitch into the seventh, igniting the Drive bats. Juan Chacon launched his first High-A home run one pitch later before Bryan Gonzalez smacked his team-lead-tying sixth homer of the year for back-to-back big-flies, cutting the lead to 5-3.

A Bryce Willits bloop single in the ninth off Adam Smith would bring in Eddie Park to boost the Dash lead to 6-3, dampening the Drive’s momentum. Smith would go two innings in total, allowing two hits and a run with a walk with two strikeouts.

The Greenville Drive return to action Thursday, May 16th as the Malmö Oat Milkers for game three of the six-game series with Winston-Salem. The Dash lead the series, 2-0.

Written by the Greenville Drive.