HAGERSTOWN, M.D. - The Hagerstown Suns (3-1) limited the Savannah Sand Gnats (2-1) to one run on four hits on Monday night in a 6-1 victory in front of 996 at Municipal Stadium in game one of the South Atlantic League Championship Series. The game was the first between the Suns and Sand Gnats this season,
Hagerstown got on the scoreboard first in the third inning. Catcher Pedro Severino led off with a double to left. He moved to third on a groundout to short, and after CF Isaac Ballou got hit by a pitch, Severino scored when 2B Tony Renda grounded into a force out at second.
Renda also drove in the Suns pair of runs in the fifth to make it 3-0. Renda smacked a double to left with runners on second and third and one out. Renda finished the night with one hit in three at-bats, and is now hitting .438 in four postseason games.
Savannah was able to cut its deficit to two in the seventh. Left fielder Stefan Sabol began the frame by drawing a walk. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Third baseman Jeff Reynolds then drove him home with a ground ball single to right to make it 3-1.
The Suns ensured that would be as close as the Sand Gnats would get by plating three runs in the eighth. Right fielder Bryan Lippincott drove in the first run of the frame with a line drive single up the middle with runners on the corners and no outs. Two outs later, SS Stephen Perez doubled with runners on the corners, knocking both runners in to set the final score. Hagerstown finished the night with six doubles, one off their season high.
Starting RHP Jake Johansen (1-0) picked up the win for Hagerstown in his playoff debut. He pitched five innings without allowing a run, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out two. Starting RHP Luis Cessa (0-1) suffered the loss for Savannah. He went five innings, surrendering three earned runs on six hits while walking one and striking out two.
The Suns and Sand Gnats continue their best-of-five championship series with game two at Municipal Stadium on Tuesday, September 10. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05p.m. Hagerstown will send RHP Austin Voth (1-0, 0.00) to the mound for his second start of the playoffs. He will go up against RHP Seth Lugo (0-0, 0.00) for Savannah.