Savannah, GA - The Savannah Sand Gnats resumed Monday's rain-postponed game on Tuesday against the Augusta GreenJackets at Lake Olmstead Stadium, coming out on top, 3-1. The Gnats then fell to the GreenJackets 2-1 in extra innings during the originally scheduled game.
Savannah (8-4) resumed Monday's scoreless game with first baseman Leonardo Rojas standing on second base in the fifth inning with no outs. Gnats lefthander Dario Alverez entered the game in relief of Monday's starter, Kevin McGowan, and promptly allowed the inherited Rojas to score the go-ahead run on a Randy Ortiz single. Alvarez bounced back to strike out six batters and allow just two hits across the remaining four and two-thirds innings.
The Gnats would answer quickly in the top of the fifth inning, breaking up the Augusta no-hitter started yesterday by Christian Jones. Lefthander Steven Messner, who entered in relief of Jones, served up a game-tying solo home run to Gavin Cecchini. Second baseman L.J. Mazzilli then doubled home third baseman Jeff McNeil to take the lead 2-1.
Savannah tacked on another run in the seventh when RF Victor Cruzado scored as CF Patrick Biondi reached first base on a throwing error by Augusta second baseman Christian Arroyo.
Alvarez cruised through the ninth to earn his first win. Augusta's four errors proved costly, with two unearned runs ultimately deciding the game.
Tuesday's originally scheduled game began next. Gnats starter Ricky Knapp struck out eight batters, but allowed five hits and a game-tying run in the fifth on a base-loaded ground-out by Augusta center fielder Cristian Paulino. Jackets starter Chase Johnson matched Knapp, also allowing five hits and a run going into the bottom of the eighth.
Knapp opened the eighth inning by giving up a double to catcher Ty Ross. After a bunt ground-out by Paulino, Knapp intentionally walked left fielder Shawn Payne, and was then lifted for Gnats reliever John Mincone. The left-handed reliever then served up a game-winning RBI single to shortstop Ryder Jones.
Because two games were being completed Tuesday night, game two was required to be considered regulation after seven innings, thus earning Knapp his first complete game and his second loss.
Gnats outfielder Jared King preserved his league-high 12-game on-base streak, earning a walk during game one and then going 2-for-4 in game two.
The Gnats will attempt to take the series Wednesday night in Augusta, pitting Miller Diaz (0-0, 6.75) up against Luis Ysla (0-0, 4.26). First pitch at Lake Olmstead Stadium is set for 7:00 pm.