Salisbury, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds fell to the Savannah Sand Gnats by the final score of 3-2 on Wednesday night. The Shorebirds put the tying and winning runs in scoring position in the ninth, but Savannah escaped to earn the series win.
Delmarva struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Gregory Lorenzo lined a single to left field, and then he swiped second base. With two outs, Jeff Kemp hit a hard line drive, stopped by a diving L.J. Mazzilli at second base. Kemp reached on an infield single, but Mazzilli's throw was wide of the bag, allowing Lorenzo to score.
Savannah took its own lead in the third inning, doing damage with the bottom of the order. Matt Oberste sliced a ground-rule double to the right field corner. Colton Plaia then smashed an RBI triple to deep right-center. After a popout and walk, Jeff McNeil hit a slow roller to shortstop. Jeff Kemp's throw was high, taking Mancini off the bag. The error allowed Plaia to score on what would have been the final out of the inning.
The Shorebirds knotted the game at two runs apiece in the bottom of the third inning. Lorenzo singled again, and then picked up his second stole base of the game. Jeff Kemp pulled a line drive double to bring home Lorenzo and tie the game 2-2.
The game remained tied until the seventh inning. Delmarva starter Steven Brault settled for a no-decision in his home debut, allowing two runs (one earned). With reliever Dennis Torres on the hill, Savannah reestablished their lead in the seventh. Victor Cruzado led off with a triple, and Dominic Smith gave the Sand Gnats a 3-2 lead with a sacrifice fly.
Delmarva threatened in the ninth inning, but fell one play short of the comeback. With two outs, Mike Yastrzemski singled to right and Gregory Lorenzo reached on a walk. After a double steal, the Shorebirds had the tying run on third and winning run on second. Trey Mancini belted a deep fly ball to center, but Patrick Biondi tracked it down for the final out.
The Shorebirds now host the Charleston RiverDogs for a four-game series starting on Thursday. Left-hander Mitch Horacek (0-1, 2.89) starts in the series opener against Charleston southpaw Caleb Smith (1-1, 1.26). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm at Perdue Stadium.