Salisbury, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds and the Savannah Sand Gnats combined for 15 runs, 29 hits, six errors, four wild pitches and three passed balls on Monday evening. Savannah came away with the 10-5 victory in an unusual game to open the Shorebirds' seven-game homestand.
Savannah scored in every inning except for the seventh. The Sand Gnats opened the scoring with a solo home run by Jeff McNeil in the first inning. After a single tally in the second inning, Savannah scored twice in the third to take a 4-0 lead off Delmarva starter Austin Urban.
Luc Rennie did not fare much better after relieving Urban in the fourth. Stefan Sabol hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, the third long ball for Savannah in the game.
The Shorebirds had plenty of opportunities to mount a comeback. Delmarva stranded the bases loaded in the third, and an inning-ending double play ruined another bases loaded chance. All told, the Shorebirds left 15 runners on base and went just 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
Delmarva trailed 7-1, going to the bottom of the fifth inning. Hector Veloz delivered a two-run single to cut the gap to four runs. However, Savannah responded with runs in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings to push the lead to 10-3.
The game ended on a strange play and disputed ruling by the umpiring crew. The Shorebirds scored twice in the ninth with three singles and an error. With runners on first and second and one out, Mike Yastrzemski popped up on the infield.
The third baseman failed to catch the ball, and the Shorebirds' baserunners attempted to advance. The home plate umpire signalled for the infield fly rule, so Yastrzemski was ruled out. Veloz, assuming the force play was still in effect, was tagged out as he slid into third. Shorebirds manager Ryan Minor disputed the call, arguing that the infield fly was ruled too late for the runners to react accordingly.
Chris Flexen (1-1) took the victory for Savannah, as the Sand Gnats improved to 10-5 in first place in the Southern Division. Austin Urban (0-2) settled for the defeat for Delmarva.
The Shorebirds and Sand Gnats continue their three-game series on Tuesday night. Right-hander Hunter Harvey (1-0, 1.06) will try to get Delmarva back on track against right-hander Kevin McGowan (0-0, 3.86) for Savannah. First pitch at Perdue Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 pm.