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Kinston's Rodriguez evens series with Salem

Shortstop smacks walk-off blast to break scoreless tie in Game 2
September 6, 2007
Josh Rodriguez's homer in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Kinston over Salem, 1-0, in Game 2 of their Carolina League first-round playoff series.

After dropping the opener, 10-3, on Wednesday, the Indians got even in the best-of-3 series when Rodriguez blasted an offering from reliever Raymar Diaz (0-1) over the left-field wall to force a decisive game on Friday.

"Our team was excited," said Indians manager Mike Sarbaugh. "It was a lot of fun."

Rodriguez, who hit four of his 20 regular-season home runs against Salem, had gone hitless in his first three at-bats against Avalanche starter Polin Trinidad.

Kinston starter Frank Herrmann helped Kinston stave off elimination by yielding six hits and striking out five without issuing a walk over seven innings.

"He commanded his fastball on both sides of the plate and mixed in his off-speed pitches to keep them off balance," Sarbaugh said of Herrmann.

Erik Stiller (1-0) allowed one hit and struck out two in the final two frames to pick up the win.

Indians center fielder Jose Costanza went 0-for-3, but helped keep Salem off the board with his defense. He gunned down Cesar Quintero at the plate to end the fifth and opened the ninth with a diving catch to rob Mark Ori of a potential extra-base hit.

Trinidad gave up only three hits and struck out seven without a walk over seven innings before Diaz surrendered a run on one hit and with two strikeouts in 1 1/3 frames.

Wes Hodges, Armando Camacaro and Brian Finegan collected Kinston's hits off Trinidad.

"We knew we had to stay focused tonight to stay in the series," said Sarbaugh.

Wladimir Sutil went 2-for-4 for the Avalanche, who outhit the Indians, 7-4.

Zack Hample is a contributor to