Home field advantage didn't work out in the GreenJackets favor Wednesday night. In Game 1 of the South Atlantic League Southern Division Championship, the Savannah Sand Gnats (1-0) were electric at the plate as they took at 10-2 victory against the GreenJackets (0-1) at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
After giving up a base hit to Savannah's leadoff man Eudy Pina, starter Martin Agosta retired eight-straight batters to start the game. Then in the top of the third, Pina singled to left field, advanced to second when Brandon Nimmo walked and then scored the first run of the game on a RBI single by Savannah's Maiki De La Cruz to give the Sand Gnats a 1-0 lead.
While the damage was minimal in the third, it was a different story in the fifth.
After allowing five of six batters to reach base in the fifth inning and two runs to score, Agosta was replaced with Steven Okert. The southpaw struck out Savannah's Cole Frenzel to start his appearance. Okert then gave up back-to-back hits, which allowed four more runs to score to give the Sand Gnats a 7-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the GreenJackets, the Sand Gnats continued to add to their lead. Jake Dunnington relieved Okert in the sixth inning and gave up a home run to the first batter he faced. Phillip Evans solo homer extended Savannah's lead to 8-0.
It wasn't until the bottom of the seventh that the GreenJackets finally got on the board. Third baseman Mitch Delfino got on base with a single to left field, moved to second on a line drive single by catcher Ben Turner and score the GreenJackets first run of the night when right fielder Chuckie Jones had an infield hit to third base.
Augusta put up one more run in the eighth when center fielder Jesus Galindo scored on a RBI-single by Delfino.
Savannah finished the night by scoring to final runs in the ninth off closer Tyler Mizenko, giving them a 10-2 win.
The GreenJackets will have an off day tomorrow before traveling to Savannah on Friday. Game 2 will have Kendry Flores starting on the mound for Augusta. In order to keep their hopes of winning the Southern Division Title alive, the GreenJackets must win Game 2.