Print  Print © MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

Gnats Swarm Greenjackets in Season Opener
04/06/2012 12:22 AM ET

Savannah, GA - With the final swing on Opening Night 2012, Savannah right fielder Charley Thurber gave the Gnats their first win of the season, 3-2 over the Augusta GreenJackets. Thurber chopped a single over a drawn-in infield sending home SS Luis Nieves from third with the winning run. The Gnats and GreenJackets play game two of their four-game series Friday at 7:05.

In a 2-2 game in the bottom of the ninth, Gnats shortstop Nieves led off with a flyball to right field that Augusta right fielder Michael Mergenthaler muffed for a three-base error. The GreenJackets intentionally walked the subsequent two batters to set up a force at home plate with Thurber at bat. Thurber fell down in the count 0-2 before his game winning single.

Thurber finished 2-for-5 with two RBI. He singled home a run in the fifth that broke a 1-1 tie and briefly gave the Gnats a 2-1 lead.

Both starting pitchers were sharp. Savannah starter Logan Verrett finished five innings, fanning four and yielding just one unearned run on two hits and two walks. GreenJackets' starter Clayton Blackburn struck out six Gnats in his 4.2 innings of work.

The GreenJackets scored first, taking a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly from RF Michael Mergenthaler in the top of the fourth inning.

Augusta evened the game at 2-2 with an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning off reliever Marcos Camarena.

Gnats reliever Carlos Vazquez earned the win for 2.1 innings of perfect relief. Vazquez struck out the first five batters he faced.

The Gnats and GreenJackets play game two of their four-game series Friday at 7:05 pm. Savannah will send RHP Rafael Montero to the mound against Jacket RHP Chris Marlow.

The Sand Gnats will host the first St. Joseph's / Candler Facebook Friday of the 2012 season tomorrow evening. Fans who "like" St. Joseph's / Candler's Facebook page can retrieve an exclusive ticket offer good for Friday night's game. Visit for more details. Friday evening will also be Masters Night at the ballpark and fans are encouraged to wear their best golf apparel. Gates will open at 6:00pm. For tickets and more information visit

ABOUT THE SAVANNAH SAND GNATS The Savannah Sand Gnats, the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets, is a professional minor league baseball team and a member of the South Atlantic League. Savannah plays its home games at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Georgia, just minutes from downtown Savannah. Historic Grayson Stadium is situated within Savannah's Daffin Park, creating a unique atmosphere and a "Park within a Park" setting.

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