Savannah, GA - Thanks to the cruelty of Mother Nature last month, the Greenville Drive (20-17) and Savannah Sand Gnats (27-11) had to make up a suspended game and play the regularly-scheduled nine-inning game on Wednesday night. After coming away with a 5-4 victory in the completion of the game from April 19th, the Sand Gnats shut down the Drive offense in a 6-1 win in the nightcap.
Led by a career-high 12 strikeouts in five innings from Dario Alvarez (2-1), the Sand Gnats pitching staff piled up 19 punchouts against Drive batters in the second game. Dawrin Frias collected all five of hits outs in an inning and two-thirds via strikeout, and Tyler Vanderheiden struck out a pair in two and one-third frames to collect his first save of the year.
Drive starter Daniel McGrath (0-1) was touched for four runs in the bottom of the first after allowing three hits and Drive fielders making three errors behind him. With one out, Gavin Cecchini reached on a three-base error by Manuel Margot. Jeff McNeil hit an RBI single, moved to second on a Margot error, stole third and scored when Jordan Weems' throw ended up in left field for the third error. Later in the frame, L.J. Mazzilli doubled and scored on Dominic Smith's RBI single.
Cecchini added a pair of runs for Savannah in the bottom of the third with a two-run single to make the score 6-0.
Despite allowing Cecchini's single, Sergio Gomez rebounded to give the Drive five effective innings of relief, allowing two runs and four hits.
The Drive scored their only run of the night game in the seventh when Jimmy Rider lined a two-out triple and scored on Forrestt Allday's RBI single.
Cecchini went 2-5 with two RBI to lead Savannah, while Allday and Carlos Asuaje both had a pair of hits for Greenville.
The suspended game was picked up in the bottom of the sixth inning with the score tied at three. McNeil hit an RBI single in the frame against new Drive hurler Jacob Dahlstrand (1-2) to give Savannah the lead.
The Drive bounced back in the top of the seventh and tied the game when Tzu-Wei Lin walked, moved to third on Jantzen Witte's single, and scored when Asuaje grounded a single up the middle.
Mazzilli delivered the eventual game-winning hit in the bottom of the eighth by singling home Cecchini, who singled with one out.
Tim Peterson (2-0) picked up the win for Savannah by striking out four and allowing only one run in three innings of relief. John Mincone pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record his first save.
McNeil finished the game 3-5 with three RBI, and he was joined in the multi-hit club by Mazzilli, Patrick Biondi and Jeff Glenn. Asuaje, Witte, Wendell Rijo and Jake Romanski all collected two hits for the Drive.
The teams will play two seven-inning games in Savannah on Thursday night, with first pitch of game one set for 5:35 PM. RH Jamie Callahan (2-2, 5.06) and RH Jonathan Aro (0-0, 1.86) are the scheduled starters for the Drive. RH Miller Diaz (3-0, 2.08) will start game one for the Sand Gnats, and their game two starter is TBA.