The Southpaw outdueled Asheville's Erik Stavert (1-2), limiting the Tourists to just a pair of hits in 5.0 scoreless innings. Only an error on Rivera was the lone baserunner for Asheville during a 13 batter span between their two base hits. Not only did Rivera not issue a base on balls while striking out seven in the outing, he extended his scoreless streak to 13.2 innings pitched.
Drew Hedman's RBI-single in the bottom of the first accounted for the game's first run, before the Drive batted around three innings later. Greenville plated seven runs in that inning, chasing Stavert before he could even record an out. Heiker Meneses and Coyle each laced two-run doubles to give the Drive a 5-run lead.
A stolen base by Coyle, coupled by a throwing error on Asheville's Dustin Garneau, was all that manager Joe Mikulik needed to see to pull Stavert. However, reliever Rafael Suarez, was greeted rudely by Head who crushed a first pitch offering to left-centerfield.
The Drive closed out their scoring an inning later, as Tourists pitchers were tuned up for five more runs. Coyle capped his three-hit performance with a grand slam, which was promptly followed by a solo homer by Bryce Brentz.
The right-fielder, who walked in his first plate appearance of the game, extended his league leading on-base and hit streaks to 25 games and 16 games, respectively. The on-base streak is tied for the Drive franchise record, also held by former infielder Jeff Natale in 2006.
By the time the Tourists were able to get on the scoreboard, it was irrelevant. Asheville scored three runs off Jordan Flasher in the top of the sixth, and added a pair in the ninth against Tyler Lockwood.
Following an off day, the Drive begin an 8-game road trip beginning in Kannapolis, NC versus the Intimidators. Right-hander Kyle Stroup (1-2, 8.85 ERA) will toe the rubber for Greenville on Thursday, while Kannapolis counters with right-hander Matt Heidenreich (1-1, 8.22 ERA)
The Drive return home to Fluor Field on May 13th, but before that their home-field will feature some exciting collegiate baseball action. The Clemson Tigers and Furman Paladins meet on Tuesday, May 10th, while the USC-Upstate Spartans take on The Citadel Bulldogs the following day. First pitch for both games are at 7 PM. For more information regarding single-game tickets, luxury accommodations, group outings, and ticket plan packages call (864) 240-4500 or visit www.GreenvilleDrive.com.
GAME NOTES: Attendance was 3,851...Miles Head extended his hit streak to 7 games, hitting .542 (16-for-28) with 5 homers, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored...he reached base safely in 9 straight plate appearances at one point...Drew Hedman has a hit in 11 of his last 12 games, hitting .326 (15-for-46) with 9 RBI and 7 runs scored...Bryce Brentz is hitting .355 (22-for-62) with 4 homers, 8 RBI, and 19 runs scored during his 16-game hit streak