Savannah, GA - The Savannah Sand Gnats moved closer to clinching a spot in the South Atlantic League playoffs with a 9-4 win over the Greenville Drive Thursday night at Historic Grayson Stadium. The Charleston RiverDogs split a doubleheader at home with the Augusta GreenJackets, so the Gnats now lead the Dogs by 1.5 games with three to play and own a magic number of two.
The Gnats (40-26) began the scoring with a single run in the bottom of the first inning. RF Eudy Pina doubled and scored on DH Maikis De La Cruz's sacrifice fly to centerfield.
In the third, 1B Jayce Boyd lined a three-run homerun, his fourth of the year, over the left field wall to put the Gnats up 4-0. Boyd finished 4-for-4 with a triple, a homerun and a walk.
On the hill, Savannah starter Jake Kuebler was dominant through five innings. He retired the first 13 batters he faced, nine on groundouts, before a bouncer off his glove in the fifth inning produced Greenville's first hit. Kuebler finished five innings, yielding no runs on two hits for his second win of the year.
The Gnats added a run in the fifth on an RBI single by De La Cruz.
The Drive (22-44) cut Savannah's lead to 5-3 with a three-run sixth off reliever Marcos Camerena, keyed by a two-run triple by LF Kevin Heller.
In the seventh inning, Boyd tripled and scored on 3B Cole Frenzel's single into leftfield to put the Gnats up 6-3.
Greenville put the tying runs on base in the top of the eighth against reliever Beck Wheeler, but settled for one run on a sacrifice fly to pull within one run at 6-4.
Savannah put the game out of reach with three runs in the bottom of the eighth that included a CF Brandon Nimmo RBI triple. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Gates to Historic Grayson Stadium open at 6 pm. That radio pregame show on News/Talk 630 WBMQ and online at sandgnats.com begins at 6:45 pm.
St. Joseph's/Candler Facebook Friday and T-Shirt Giveaway
St. Joseph's/Candler presents a T-shirt giveaway for the first 1,000 fans at Historic Grayson Stadium.
Buy-one-get-one-free tickets and five tickets for $15 are available on the St. Joseph's/Candler Facebook page at facebook.com/stjosephscandler.
Papa Murphy's Post-Game Kids Run the Bases
Kids run the bases after every Friday and Sunday home game thanks to Papa Murphy's Pizza.