SAVANNAH, GA - The Savannah Sand Gnats erupted for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat the Greenville Drive 5-4 Sunday afternoon and retake possession of first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division. The Gnats (21-22) now lead the Drive (21-23) by one half game for first place.
Down 4-0 entering the bottom of the eighth, the first two Savannah batters, SS Wilfredo Tovar and LF Alonzo Harris drew walks against Greenville reliever Juan Rodriguez. CF Darrell Ceciliani drove home Tovar with a line drive single into left-center field. 2B Robbie Shields followed with a single up the middle to load the bases. RF Cory Vaughn then cleared the bases by ripping a three-run double down the left field line that tied the game at 4-4.
In a 4-4 game, after Vaughn's double, the Drive turned to reliever Charle Rosario. Aderlin Rodriguez greeted the reliever with a bunt that moved Vaughn, carrying the go ahead run, to third. DH Blake Forsythe then drilled a line drive past the drawn-in Drive infield scoring Vaughn for a 5-4 Savannah advantage.
Robbie Shields was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 12 straight games. He is now tied for the longest active hitting streak in the South Atlantic League. Shields played second base for the first time as a professional Sunday.
Savannah reliever Angel Cuan held the Drive scoreless over the final 2.2 innings to pick up his second win of the year. Starter Ryan Fraser gave up four runs, three earned on eight hits in 6.1 innings.
The Gnats were held hitless between a Vaughn double with one out in the first inning and Ceciliani's RBI single in the eighth.
The Gnats will hand the ball to RHP Erik Goeddel (2-2, 2.93) against Drive RHP Kyle Stroup (1-4, 8.16) Monday, in the finale of the four-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm and gates open at 6 pm. The pre-game show on News/Talk 630 and sandgnats.com begins at 6:50 pm.
Dollar Monday presented by Kroger, the Savannah Morning News and E93
General Admission tickets are just $1 with Kroger Plus Cards or with coupons available in area Kroger locations, in the Savannah Morning News, or online at savannahnow.com and e93fm.com.
Hot Dogs, small Natty Lights, small sodas, and chips are all $1 at the game.
The first 100 families will receive a free reusable grocery bag courtesy of Kroger.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.