Savannah, Ga.- After digging themselves an early hole, the Savannah Sand Gnats blasted their way out of trouble by scoring a season-high 15 runs in a 15-12 win over Rome on Sunday afternoon at Historic Grayson Stadium.
The Gnats (7-4/51-26) took control of the game with an eight-run fifth inning, turning a 6-6 game into a 14-6 lead. Matt Oberste's grand slam capped the inning's scoring, his first homerun of 2014 and his first professional slam. Oberste finished 4-for-4 with an RBI double, an RBI single, a sacrifice fly, and three runs scored.
The Braves (2-9/26-55) scored five times on just one hit in the first inning against Savannah starter Ricky Knapp. Knapp walked three and hit two batters in the frame. Knapp stayed in the ballgame and kept the Braves off the scoreboard in the second and third innings before surrendering a run in the fourth.
Savannah started chipping away at the Braves' 5-0 lead with two runs in the first, one in the second, one in the third, before tying the score at 6-6 with two runs in the fourth.
Savannah centerfielder Champ Stuart reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, an RBI and four runs scored.
Reliever John Mincone earned the win, his first of the year, for his four scoreless innings of relief behind Knapp.
The Braves scored six runs in the ninth against reliever Paul Paez to make the score more respectable, before Dawrin Frias recorded the final three outs for his second save of 2014.
The Gnats will look for a four-game sweep Monday night when they send LHP Dario Alvarez (4-0, 1.08) to the hill against RHP Tyler Brosius (2-4, 3.67).
As a part of Kroger Dollar Monday, presented by Savannah Morning News, Fans can take advantage of $1 tickets by showing their Kroger Plus Card at the box office, or by using the $1 coupon found at participating Kroger stores, in the Savannah Morning News, or online at SavannahNow.com. Fans can also enjoy $1 hot dogs, chips, small sodas, and PBR beer all night long.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Gates to Historic Grayson Stadium open at 6 pm. The radio pregame show on News/Talk 630 WBMQ, sandgnats.com and TuneIn Radio begins at 6:45 pm.