SAVANNAH, GA – The Savannah Sand Gnats won their third straight game over the Charleston RiverDogs in a suspenseful 3-2 victory on Saturday night at Historic Grayson Stadium. Reliever Brandon Sage got out of a bases-loaded one-out jam in the eighth inning to preserve a strong effort from starter Armando Rodriguez.
Rodriguez retired the first 11 RiverDogs he faced while fanning nine over five innings to earn his seventh win of the season. The Gnats (27-34/69-62) took advantage of their opportunities, scoring all three of their runs in the third inning, highlighted by a two-RBI single by the hot-hitting Jordan Abruzzo. As it turned out, Savannah would need all of those runs as Charleston scored a run in the seventh on a mammoth home run to deep center field by Luke Murton and tallied another run in the eighth, as the RiverDogs loaded the bases with one out. With one run already scoring in the inning, Sage was summoned from the Savannah bullpen to extinguish the RiverDog rally. The lefty wasted no time in doing just that, striking out Neil Medchill before forcing Francisco Santana to pop out to shortstop Robbie Shields.
In the ninth, the drama intensified as RiverDog Kevin Mahony led off the frame with a single. After retiring SS Kelvin Castro on a ground out to first, the stage was set for the play of the day. Charleston's Slade Heathcott laced what appeared to be a certain base hit to RF Cody Holliday raced in and snared just above the Grayson Stadium turf. Mahony, thinking as did the Charleston bench that Holiday had trapped the baseball headed for second as Holiday stood and threw behind the runner to double off Mahony, end the game and incite the RiverDog bench.
The Sand Gnats will return next Friday to face the Asheville Tourists for the last homestand of the season.