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Sand Gnats Hang On, 7-607/23/2009 10:55 PM ET
By Mike Passanisi / Savannah Sand Gnats
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A double play turned by Josh Satin and Wilmer Flores helped turn the tide in the ninth inning as the Sand Gnats hung on for a, 7-6, win over the West Virginia Power in front of 6,175 fans at Appalachian Power Park. Savannah has now won five games in a row, which ties a season-long streak set April 16-20, and will start play on Friday half a game out of first place in the Southern Division.
Austin McClune singled and stole second to start the ninth inning off closer Rhiner Cruz and represented the tying run. Bobby Spain hit Cruz's 3-2 pitch on a line to the right side where it was snared by Satin for the first out of the play. Satin then immediately turned and fired a strike to Flores at second to double-off McClune and put two outs on the scoreboard in the final inning.
Danny Bomback popped out to Imbewer Alvarez to end the game and secure Cruz's 19th save of the season.
Savannah (16-11, 51-46) once again benefited from Power errors as they plated three runs in the second to open up a three-run lead. Joey August reached on a fielding error by first baseman Kyle Morgan to prolong the second inning. On the very next play, left fielder Quincy Latimore dropped a fly ball that would have also been the third out. The miscues led to two unearned runs for starter Gabriel Alvarado (5-8).
The Power made one more error in the game that also cost them a run. In the two-game series West Virginia has committed 10 errors in 18.0 innings of baseball.
Phillips Orta (1-0) picks up the win in relief of Eric Beaulac after a tough fourth inning. The 22-year-old Beaulac allowed four runs on four hits in the inning before leaving the game. After Orta walked the first man he faced to load the bases, he got the next three outs to preserve the lead. He allowed one runs in 2.2 innings of work.
The Gnats will go for their sixth straight win tomorrow and send Kyle Allen (7-6, 4.08), who has won two straight starts, to the mound in the 7:05 p.m. contest. He'll be opposed by top starter Rudy Owens (10-1, 1.75), who leads the SAL in wins and in ERA. You can listen to all the action live on STAR AM 1400, you home for Sand Gnats baseball.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.