Savannah, GA - Brandon Nimmo drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eleventh inning to force home the winning run giving the Gnats a 1-0 win in the second game of a doubleheader. The Gnats and Tourists split a pair of extra-innings games Tuesday at Historic Grayson Stadium. The Tourists won game one 4-3 in eight innings. The Gnats' split combined with the Charleston RiverDogs' split of a doubleheader in Greenville, SC against the Drive, keeps Savannah one full game in front of Charleston with five games to play in the first half.
RF Eudy Pina began the game-winning rally in the bottom of the 11th by reaching on a throwing error on Asheville SS Matt Wessinger. After a failed bunt attempt and a wild pitch, SS Philip Evans singled through the left side to send 2B Jeff Reynolds to third base with the winning run. DH Yucarybert De La Cruz walked to load the bases in front of Nimmo. Nimmo fell behind in the count 0-2, took a pair of balls to move to 2-2 and then fouled off six straight pitches before reliever Patrick Johnson missed on two straight pitches to issue a walk and force in the winning run.
The Gnats (38-26) and Tourists (34-29) each picked up outstanding starts in game two as both starters set new season-highs for innings pitched. For Savannah, Logan Taylor struck out six and walked three in his six shutout innings. For Asheville, Matt Flemer allowed just two singles and a walk while fanning six in his 7.2 innings. Savannah reliever Bret Mitchell picked up the win, his second of 2013, for working a scoreless 10th and 11th innings.
The Gnats built a 3-0 lead in the first two innings of game two keyed by a Stefan Sabol RBI triple in the first inning and a pair of balks from Asheville starter Matt Carasiti.
The Tourists tied the game at 3-3 with three runs against starter Gabriel Ynoa in the sixth. DH Matt Argyropoulos singled up the middle to tie the game on a ball that SS Philip Evans could not corral despite a diving effort.
Asheville scored the winning run in the eighth when CF Francisco Sosa scored from second on a wild pitch by reliever Beck Wheeler, who was charged with the loss, that catcher Jeff Glenn could not find to his right.
The Gnats can officially eliminate the Tourists from contention for a first half title with a win Wednesday in the final game of the series. Savannah will send RHP Matt Koch (4-2, 4.76) to the hill against RHP TJ Oakes (5-4, 4.45). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Gates to Historic Grayson Stadium open at 6 pm and the radio pregame begins on News/Talk 630 and online at sandgnats.com at 6:45 pm.
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