Normally, batting practice ends and the game starts about an hour afterward, but someone forgot to tell the Sand Gnats. Greg Veloz opened the game with a shot over the left field wall, his 2nd of the year. Michael Parker then followed with a shot over the left field wall, his 2nd. After a Casey Craig strikeout, Jordan Abruzzo roped a ball over the left field wall. Glenn Gibson would record another strikeout, this one against Jose Jimenez, before allowing his 4th home run of the inning, a Francisco Pena shot over the left field wall. Joaquin Rodriguez walked and Carlos Guzman walked to set the stage for last night's hero Matthew Bouchard. Bouchard hit a pitch from Gibson in the exact same spot as last night for a three-run home run and a 7-0 Sand Gnat lead. Not to be undone, Gibson struck out the side by getting Veloz looking at an inside fastball. Gibson struck out the side and allowed 5 home runs in the first inning. That is not easy to do folks, and it is the first time the Catfish have allowed 5 home runs in their history.
Columbus would score a run in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th innings to make it a 7-4 final. In the 2nd, Ian Paxton drove in Greg Sexton with a single to left. In the 3rd, Reid Fronk drove in Omar Luna with a groundout to second base. In the 5th, Omar Luna homered, his first of the year and in the 7th, a wild pitch scored Luna.
Outside of the 1st inning, the Sand Gnats were relatively quiet, as they did not score another run and only 2 guys had more than 2 hits in the game: Francisco Pena (2-4 with a double, home run and run batted in) and Greg Veloz (2-5 with a run, bunt single, home run and run batted). Scott Moviel recorded his 4th win of the season after being spotted the 7 runs.
Columbus was led offensively by Greg Sexton, who was 2-4 with a run, and Sand Gnat Killer Omar Luna, who was 2-4 with 3 runs and is now hitting .500 against Savannah. Gibson picked up his 8th loss of the season after a disastrous 1st inning, but Jeremy Hall was huge in this game, as he fired 5 innings to conserve the Catfish bullpen from what could have been a very long night.
The Catfish 12 game losing streak equals that of the St. Lucie Mets, who were owners of the longest losing streak of the season. The Catfish franchise-high losing streak is 13 games and that will be put to the test tomorrow morning, as the Catfish and Sand Gnats resume their series at 11 AM tomorrow.
The Catfish are the Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.