GREENVILLE, S.C. – The BlueClaws won a wild Game Two, 6-1 in the SAL Championship Series Tuesday night to even the best-of-five series at one game apiece.
The game featured a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams that saw four players ejected, and set the tone for the next three games in Lakewood.
With Derrik Gibson on second and two outs in the fifth, Reynaldo Rodriguez singled off Lakewood starter Julio Rodriguez (1-0) to left. Leandro Castro had no problems gunning down Gibson at home, but Gibson ran into catcher Sebastian Valle attempting to knock the ball loose.
That started a confrontation between the teams that led to the ejections of Gibson, Michael Almanzar, Castro, and Julio Rodriguez.
Rodriguez finished the night with a solid outing, giving up three hits and a run through five. He also walked four and struck out seven to earn the win.
Jiwan James paced the Lakewood offense, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. He came into the night just 1-for-16 in the postseason.
Lakewood got on the board first in the opening inning. James doubled, Michael Dabbs singled, and Jonathan Singleton grounded into a fielder’s choice to score James and make it 1-0 Claws.
The BlueClaws added another run in the fifth, when Jeremy Barnes scored on a two out James double.
Greenville cut into the lead in the bottom half of the inning, as Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a solo shot across the railroad tracks in right to get the Drive within one. Rodriguez had retired nine in a row prior to the homer.
Josh Zeid and Mike McGuire would slam the door shut from there out of the bullpen, and a two-out ninth inning rally sealed the Claws win.
Alan Schoenberger (taking Castro’s place in the lineup) tripled to start the inning, and two outs later Keoni Ruth singled him home. Korby Mintken then singled, and James singled in a run with another scoring on an error.
Michael Dabbs made it 6-1 with an RBi single of his own.
Thursday at 7:05 pm RHP Brody Colvin (6-8, 3.39) will start for Lakewood against RHP Chris Balcom-Miller (7-7, 3.30) in Game Three at FirstEnergy Park.
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