Greenville Drive’s Romero Delivers Walk-off Hit to Down Tourists in Twelve Innings

Mikey Romero delivered a sharp RBI-single to right field in the bottom of the 12th, giving the Greenville Drive (8-7, 34-47) a walk-off series clinching victory 6-5 over the Asheville Tourists (7-7, 35-43) at Fluor Field on Saturday night.

Romero, who was previously 0-for-5 on the night at the plate, barreled up the second pitch of the at-bat, scoring Miguel Ugueto from third who led off the inning as the ghost runner and made it to third on a Juan Chacon infield single.

The win marked the Drive’s fourth walk-off win the season, improving their extra innings record to 3-2 on the season. Greenville faced Asheville for the last time in the 2024 season, taking 11 of 18 games from the Tourists, including winning this series 4-2.

Greenville drew first blood on Saturday in the first inning as Jhostynxon Garcia slapped a one-out single and advanced to second and third on balks by Nic Swanson, before racing home on a wild pitch.

Connelly Early held the Tourists scoreless through five innings, allowing two hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. He threw just 66 pitches on the night, an effective performance for the lefty. Since giving up six runs in his start on June 6th, the lefty has allowed just five runs over his last four starts.

Swanson, who struggled against the Drive in three previous starts allowing 27 hits and 19 RBI with six homers, found a groove after the first sending down 11 straight Drive batters before Jhostynxon Garcia added his homer in the fifth with two-outs. The homer marked Garcia’s 11th since being called up to Greenville in early June.

Hayden Mullins took over for Early in the sixth, his first piggyback outing of the year. Garret Guillemette knocked in a run on a ground out and Ryan Johnson chipped in an RBI single to trim the lead to 4-2.

Eduardo Lopez knocked his fourth homer of the season with a shot that wrapped around the Pesky Pole in right field boosting the lead to 5-2. But the lead was quickly cut back to two runs in the sixth as Mullins loaded the bases on two walks and a single and gave up a one-out sac-fly to Luis Baez. Mullins picked up a crucial strikeout to avoid further damage.

Mullins struggled again in the eighth, loading the bases. He’d walk away giving up only one run as Anthony Sherwin grounded into a force out on a Drive attempt to turn two, cutting the lead to one at 5-4. Mullins exited after the inning, allowing four runs on three hits with four walks with four strikeouts.

But the Tourists knotted the game in the ninth off reliever Reidis Sena. Logan Cerny knocked the fourth pitch of his at-bat over the left field wall making it 5-5, sending the game to extras.

Sena held strong in the 10th and 11th, escaping runners at the corners in both frames while the Drive got the winning-run 90 feet away in each frame but failed to capitalize.

Zach Fogell shut down the Tourists in the 12th, giving way to Romero’s heroics.

The Drive return to action on Tuesday, July 9th to face the Rome Emperors, affiliate of the Atlanta Braves for a six-game series in Rome, Ga. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m.

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Written by the Greenville Drive.