Rome, GA- The Sand Gnats lost a heartbreaker Sunday afternoon, surrendering three runs in the eighth and a walk-off three-run homer to Braves slugger LF Josh Elander. The Gnats' (37-25) usually reliable bullpen gave up four straight hits to start the bottom of the eighth, cutting the Gnats lead to 3-2. C Casey Kalenkosky then hit into a double play, scoring 3B Carlos Franco to tie the game at three.
This was Brett Mitchell's (1-2) first blown save of the year. He gave up four runs on four hits in an inning and a third.
The Rome Braves (34-28) collected fourteen hits Sunday afternoon, six of them came in the eighth and ninth. The final hit gave Sunday's game and the three-game series to the host Braves.
Gnats' starter Luis Cessa pitched six scoreless innings allowing seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
The Sand Gnats did not acquire their lead until the seventh inning with a RBI double by CF Brandon Nimmo and a RBI single by 1B Jayce Boyd. Right before Boyd's single, SS Phillip Evans scored on a wild pitch by Braves reliever Carlos Perez.
Nimmo had himself an afternoon, going three for five with a RBI and he also prevented a run to score with his beautiful assist in the fifth inning from center field to home to tag out C Tyler Tewell.
The Gnats are back home Monday to host the Ashville Tourists for Kroger Dollar Monday presented by Savannah Morning News. One dollar tickets can be obtained at local Kroger stores, in the Savannah Morning News, or online here. Probable pitchers: Ashville (33-28): TBD Savannah (37-25) TBD.