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McGowan Baffles Tourists Tuesday
06/03/2014 9:54 PM ET
Kevin McGowan was solid in Tuesday's 3-2 win over Asheville, going 8 1/3 innings while surrendering two earned runs on six hits. (Photo by Gina Figliolia)

Savannah, Ga.- On the day he was selected to the SAL All-Star team, Savannah right-hander Kevin McGowan celebrated by baffling the Asheville Tourists over eight and a third innings to lead the Savannah Sand Gnats to a 3-2 win Tuesday night. The victory pushed the Gnats' lead over the Tourists to six for first place with 14 games to play for the Gnats and 13 for Asheville.

McGowan was perfect through 4.2 innings, retiring the first 14 batters in a row to face him until RF Jordan Patterson hit one to the wall in right field for a double. McGowan held the Tourists (33-24) off the scoreboard until the sixth when a single run cut the Gnats' advantage to 2-1. The big righty pitched into the ninth, fanning three and walking none to earn his fourth win of the year.

The Gnats (38-17) scored their first two runs in the first inning. SS Gavin Cecchini walked and 3B Jeff McNeil doubled to put runners at second and third. DH LJ Mazzilli then chopped one to third that Ryan McMahon threw away allowing both Cecchini and McNeil to score.

The Gnats extended their lead to 3-1 with an important insurance run in the bottom of the eighth again with the help of an error. This time Mazzilli reached when first baseman Corelle Prime kicked a grounder and came around to score on 2B Jorge Rivero's sharp single into centerfield.

McGowan began the ninth by giving up a single to Cesar Galvez and then struck out LF Ramiel Tapia for the first out of the inning. At that point, with Galvez at second, he hit his pitch count and gave way to Akeel Morris. The righthander induced a pair of ground ball outs, the first of which scored Galvez who had gone to third on defensive indifference. Morris picked up his second save of 2014.

Mazzilli was 0-for-4 to snap his 12-game hitting streak.

The Gnats will send All-Star RHP Miller Diaz (5-0, 1.93) to the hill in the rubber game of the three-game series against RHP Johendi Jiminian (6-2, 3.08). Fans are asked to join the Gnats as the Catholic Diocese celebrates a night at the ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Gates to Historic Grayson Stadium open at 6 pm. The radio pregame show begins on News/Talk 630 and sandgnats.com begins at 6:45 pm. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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