SAVANNAH, Ga. - Jean Luc Blaquiere's full count smash over the head of center fielder Xavier Avery drove in Josh Satin and completed the Gnats ninth-inning comeback as they dropped the Shorebirds, 5-4, in front of 3,397 at Grayson Stadium. It's the Gnats fourth walk-off win of the 2009 season.
Jefry Marte drew a leadoff walk off reliever Brett Bordes (2-2) to start the ninth. Luis Alen, who came into the game earlier when Wilmer Flores was ejected, put down a sacrifice bunt to move Marte to second with one down. The team leader in walks, Satin, came to the plate and drew a walk to put the go-ahead run on at first.
Shorebirds' manager Orlando Gomez visited the mound before Sean Ratliff's at bat batted but elected to leave the left-handed throwing Bordes in to face the lefty Ratliff. Ratliff hit a line drive toward left-center that Avery had bounce off his glove, allowing Marte to score and moving Satin to second.
Joey August, who also came in as part of the Flores ejection, grounded to second for a potential double-play ball but Ratliff went in hard to second and August's hustle allowed him to beat the throw to put runners at the corners for Blaquiere. Gomez then removed Bordes and brought in right-handed reliever Shane Mathews to face Blaquiere.
Robert Carson started the game for the Gnats and once again allowed just one run over five innings of work. Rhiner Cruz (2-2), who worked the ninth, picked up his second win of the season. Blaquiere and Jose Jimenez led the Gnats offense with two hits apiece.
Saturday night is Military Appreciation Night presented by Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Coca-Cola and Budweiser. Sgt. Slaughter will be in attendance as well for the 7 p.m. first pitch from Grayson Stadium. Chris Schwinden (8-5, 3.23) takes the ball for the Sand Gnats while Oliver Drake (7-7, 3.69) throws for the Shorebirds. For tickets and more information, visit www.sandgnats.com or call 912.351.9150.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.