LAKEWOOD – For the second year in a row the Lakewood BlueClaws clinched the South Atlantic League Championship, beating the Greenville Drive 4-2 in Game Four Saturday evening.
The Claws took three of four in the best of five series, becoming the first team in SAL history to win the first half, second half, and league title.
Jonathan Pettibone (2-0) went five innings for Lakewood, letting up two runs on seven hits while striking out five. Josh Zeid went the rest of the way throwing four perfect innings out of the pen and striking out five in a row at one point.
Lakewood trailed 2-0 heading into the fifth, but Brian Gump drew a leadoff walk against Greenville starter Drake Britton, and two outs later Kenoi Ruth singled him home to bring the Claws within one. Kendall Volz (0-1) came in for Britton, but gave up a single to Jonathan Singleton to put two runners on for catcher Sebastian Valle.
Valle wasted no time, launching the first pitch he saw out to left to give the BlueClaws a 4-2 lead they would not relinquish.
Valle had four hits in the postseason; three of them were home runs.
Zeid slammed the door shut from there on out and Greenville catcher Christian Vazquez flew out to left for the final out as the BlueClaws mobbed Zeid at the mound.
Greenville scored their runs in the third against Pettibone. Derrick Gibson grounded into a fielder’s choice to short with the bases loaded to tally the first run, and Reynaldo Rodriguez followed with an RBI ground out for a 2-0 Drive lead.
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