GREENVILLE, SC – Reynaldo Rodriguez continued his late season tear, and the Greenville Drive won Game One of the SAL Championship Series Monday night 3-1.
Rodriguez was named the MVP of the Southern Division Championship after driving in five runs in Greenville’s two game sweep of Savannah. Monday he went 2-for-4 with a solo shot, his second homer of the postseason, and an RBI single to help sink Lakewood.
Starter Drake Britton (2-0) combined with relievers Kendal Volz and Dennis Neuman to limit the Claws to just four hits.
This is the first time the BlueClaws have dropped Game One of a playoff series in franchise history.
Greenville opened the scoring against Lakewood starter Trevor May (1-1) in the third. Zach Gentile hit a leadoff single, and scored on Rodriguez’s single to make it a 1-0 game.
The Drive tacked on a run against reliever Eric Pettis in the sixth when Reymond Fuentes grounded into a fielder’s choice out at first to score a runner from third for a 2-0 edge.
The Claws got back within a run thanks to a seventh inning Leandro Castro solo shot over the Green Monster in left, but the Drive added another tally on Rodriguez’s ninth inning homer and never looked back.
Neuman threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save of the playoffs.
Tuesday at 7:05 pm The BlueClaws will look to avoid a 2-0 hole. RHP Julio Rodriguez (5-1, 1.44) will square off against RHP Ryan Pressly (5-7, 3.72).
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