SAVANNAH, GA – The Greenville Drive did all of their scoring in the first three innings, and hung on to beat the Savannah Sand Gnats 4-2 Saturday night in front of a crowd of 2,695 at Savannah's Historic Grayson Stadium. With the series tied at 2-2, the two teams will play the rubber game Sunday at 6:05 pm.
After giving up four runs in the first three innings, Savannah starter Armando Rodriguez steadied himself to retire the final 12 Drive batters he faced, from the third inning through the sixth, when he departed the game with the Gnats trailing 4-1. The Drive used two hits and a throwing error on SS Wilfredo Tovar to score twice in the top of the first for a 2-0 lead.
The Gnats (10-13/52-41) got a run back in the bottom of the first when RF Cesar Puello singled, stole second and came home on a 3B Jefry Marte RBI single to right field. Puello was 2-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Marte, who was 3-for-4 with an RBI, is now hitting .328 in 16 games in July.
The Drive (15-8/51-42) made it 4-1 with two runs, which scored on a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch, in the top of the third.
Drive starter Kendal Volz set down 15 Gnats in a row from the end of the first inning until DH RJ Harris' two-out single in the sixth inning. After Volz left the game, Savannah picked up a run in the bottom of the seventh draw within two runs at 4-2. The Gnats had runners on in the eighth and ninth innings against reliever Jeremiah Bayer, but could draw no closer than 4-2.
Sunday, looking for a series win, the Gnats will send LHP Jimmy Fuller (7-2, 1.83) to the mound to take on LHP Manual Rivera (2-7, 3.43) for the Drive.