KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sep. 13, 2017) - Greenville's Jhonathan Diaz pitched the Drive to a shutout win, 2-0, in Game 2 of the South Atlantic League Championship Series on Wednesday night at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System. Kannapolis now trails the best-of-five series, 2-games-to-0, as Greenville will play for a series sweep on Thursday at Fluor Field.
Diaz (1-0) worked 6 and 1/3 scoreless innings, limiting Kannapolis to two hits and a walk while striking out seven to earn the win. Hunter Smith spun the final 2 and 2/3 innings, working around one hit, for the save (1). Intimidators starter Luis Martinez (1-1) took the loss in his second outing of the postseason, allowing two runs on six hits in 6.0 innings, striking out six and walking one.
Greenville struck quickly as Santiago Espinal doubled to open the game, and Brett Netzer followed with an RBI-single for a 1-0 lead two batters into the game. Roldani Baldwin added a solo home run, his second of the postseason, in the third inning for a 2-0 lead.
Relief pitcher Tyler Johnson kept Kannapolis close down the stretch. The White Sox fifth round pick in the June 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of South Carolina worked 3.0 scoreless, hitless innings. Johnson struck out four and walked one in the longest outing of his professional career.
The Intimidators are in their first postseason since 2009 and first SAL Championship Series since 2005. Kannapolis won its only SAL Championship in 2005. The Drive are looking for their first championship in franchise history.
Kannapolis visits Fluor Field on Thursday for Game 3 of the SAL Championship Series at 7:05 p.m. as RHP Blake Hickman will start for the Intimidators against Greenville's RHP Bryan Mata.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.