Kannapolis, NC - The Greenville Drive put together a complete effort on Monday night, and they easily defeated the Kannapolis Intimidators 6-1 in the opener of a three-game series.
Fresh off being named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week earlier in the day, Jay Groome (3-4) continued his recent dominance on the mound by shutting down the Intimidators (19-25, 58-54) over five innings. The southpaw struck out six while allowing just three hits and two walks on the night.
The Drive (21-22, 62-50) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Brett Netzer led off with a single and came home on a double by Ryan Scott with two outs.
Two more runs in the fifth against Andre Davis (6-5) extended the lead. After walks by Scott and Granger Studdard, Tyler Hill lined a solid single to center to bring home Scott, and a fielder's choice grounder by Roldani Baldwin tacked on another run.
Hill's two-out single in the seventh was followed by an RBI triple from Santiago Espinal, and Baldwin's double plated Espinal to make the score 5-0.
The Intimidators scored their lone run of the night in the seventh when Grant Massey's RBI single brought home Mitch Roman, who singled with one out.
Netzer's RBI single in the ninth added an insurance run. He, along with Espinal and Hill, collected two hits in the game.
After Daniel Gonzalez allowed just one run in two relief innings, Robby Sexton fired a pair of scoreless frames with four strikeouts to close out the game.
Game two of the series begins at 7:05 PM on Tuesday in Kannapolis. The Drive will send left-hander Jhonathan Diaz (4-4, 4.66) to the mound, and the Intimidators will counter with right-hander Blake Hickman (3-5, 4.10).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.