Savannah, Ga - The Savannah Sand Gnats crushed the Lakewood Blue Claws 10-1 to earn their first win of 2014 Friday Night at Historic Grayson Stadium. Savannah Native John Michael Gant earned the win in his first home start as a Sand Gnat for holding the BlueClaws to one run in six innings.
LF Jared King ripped a pair of two-run triples and shortstop Gavin Cecchini blasted a three-run homerun in the Gnats' five-run seventh inning to turn the game into a rout.
Leading 3-1, the Gnats (1-0) scored five times in the bottom of the seventh inning to crack the game open. 1B Dominic Smith, began the frame with a clean single to right field after CF Patrick Biondi followed with a single to left. Cecchini brought both runners home with a three-run home run over the leftfield wall on a 2-1 count, his first longball since July 28, 2012 with the Kingsport Mets. The Gnats were not done. 3B Jeff McNeil doubled to center, his second of the game. Victor Cruzado walked, in front of Jared King who tripled to right-center field.
King's first triple of the game gave the Gnats a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. McNeil doubled and Cruzado singled, and King launched a shot to right-center that Lakewood centerfielder Carlos Tocci could not reel in after a long run. King then scored on a sacrifice fly by LJ Mazzilli.
The BlueClaws (1-1) broke on top with a single run in the top of the third inning, when Tocci scored on a wild pitch.
Savannah native John Michael Gant got stronger as the game went on. He allowed the leadoff man to reach base in each of the first three innings, but none of his final three frames. He finished six innings, allowing one run on five hits and a walk while striking out seven.
The Gnats will hand the ball to RHP Chris Flexen in game three of the four-game series opposed by RHP Alejandro Arteaga Saturday. Fans can enjoy a post-game fireworks show brought to you in part by E-93 and Nash FM. First pitch is set for 6:05p.m. Gates to Historic Grayson Stadium open at 5pm. The radio pregame show on News/Talk 630 and online at sandgnats.com begins at 5:45 pm.