SoxProspects News

September 15, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata starts strong before dropping game three


9/15 Cup of Coffee: Things were looking up early in Greenville's attempt to sweep its way to its first ever South Atlantic League Title. Unfortunately, a tough fifth inning helped knock off the Drive, whose series lead was cut to two games to one.

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It was a disappointing result for the Drive, who had the sweep and the South Atlantic League title clearly in their sights after right fielder Ryan Scott blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, giving them a 2-1 lead. Bryan Mata, the 18-year-old phenom had been very strong up to that point, allowing only one run in four innings, striking out four against one walk. However, things turned on Mata and the Drive in the fifth. After the first batter was retired, three hits and an ill-advised throw on a fielder's choice gave the Intimidators a lead they would not relinquish, knocking Mata out of the game.

The bullpen was strong as the Drive attempted to mount a comeback. Robby Sexton did yeoman's work in relief of Mata, striking out the final two batters of the fifth inning and going on to allow a run on two hits in 3 2/3. Joan Martinez then pitched a scoreless ninth. The Drive got back a pair of runs in the seventh, and Santiago Espinal led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, getting the tying run on base. However, Kannapolis pitching retired the next three, giving them their first victory of the series.

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Player of the Day: Greenville's only lead of the evening came when Ryan Scott delivered a two-run homer. Boston's seventh-round pick in the 2016 draft, Scott ripped 14 home runs and doubled 20 times in his first full professional season.

Photo Credit: Bryan Mata by Kelly O'Connor

 
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