Savannah, GA - The Gnats' bats delivering a thrilling comeback in game one of a doubleheader and Matt Koch was one pitch away from perfection in game two, as the Savannah Sand Gnats swept a doubleheader from the Augusta GreenJackets by scores of 3-2 and 3-1.
In game two, Koch retired the first 18 batters in a row and was three outs away from a perfect game heading to the seventh. Leading off the seventh, GreenJackets leadoff man Rashawn Payne worked the count full before tripling up the left-center field gap, beyond the reach of Savannah leftfielder Stefan Sabol to snap Koch's bid for a perfect game. Payne scored a batter later on Trevor Brown's sacrifice fly to centerfield. Koch retired the next two batters he saw to finish the game by facing one over the minimum. He struck out three, all looking, while lowering his ERA to 4.76.
The Gnats (16-15/59-41) scored in the first and second innings of game two. In the first, CF Brandon Nimmo and LF Stefan Sabol walked sandwiched around a RF Maikis De La Cruz ground ball basehit to load the bases. 1B Cole Frenzel delivered two runs with a double down the left field line to score Nimmo and De La Cruz.
Savannah added their third run in the second when 3B Dimas Ponce doubled and scored on an RBI single from 2B Jorge Rivero.
The Gnats completed their game one comeback with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Down 2-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Nimmo and Stefan Sabol each drew walks to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base. Then with two outs, Eudy Pina singled into left field to drive home Nimmo with the tying run. Cole Frenzel followed with another single into left to chase home Sabol with the winning run.
The GreenJackets (15-17/53-48) had scored single runs in the second and third innings to build a 2-0 advantage.
Starter Marcos Camarena gave the Gnats a complete game effort in game one, allowing two runs on seven hits for his fifth SAL win.
The Gnats look for the sweep on Sunday, when they hand the ball to RHP Julian Hilario (5-3, 3.23) making his first start of the year against LHP Matt Lujan (4-0, 2.89). First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 pm. Gates to Historic Grayson Stadium will open at 1 pm on Sunday. The radio pregame show on News/Talk 630 and sandgnats.com will begin at 1:45 pm.
Sunday is Kids Day
Kids Eat Free
All kids 12-years old and younger at Sunday's game receive a free slice of Marco's pizza and a small soda.
And Run the Bases
Papa Murphy's sponsors the Gnats post-game race the bases for all kids 12 years old and younger.