Sand Gnats Lose 3rd Straight

Mitch Hilligoss's ground ball single in the 11th inning drove home Chase Odenreider with the winning run as the Charleston RiverDogs drowned the Sand Gnats, 5-4, in South Atlantic League action Monday afternoon.

Charleston swept the three-game series with Savannah and improved to 10-8 in the season's second half (47-41 overall) while the Sand Gnats fell to 9-9 (29-59). In the bottom of the 11th inning with the game knotted at 4-4, Odenreider led off with a single to right field, his third hit of the afternoon.  Odenreider then moved to second base on a passed ball and, after Kevin Smith flied out, he advanced to third base on Wilmer Pino's single through the left side. 

On a 1-1 pitch from Joe D'Alessandro (0-1), the left-handed batting Hilligoss grounded a seeing-eye single through the right side of the drawn-in Sand Gnats infield for the game winner.  In his third game back from the disabled list, the SAL All-Star MVP Hilligoss collected three hits and a walk.

Savannah held a comfortable 4-1 lead after five innings, but Charleston began to chip away by plating a run in the sixth on Kyle Anson's RBI single that chased Sand Gnats starter Josh Stinson after a solid outing.

Like in the first two games of the series, Savannah posted a run in the top of the first inning.  With two outs, Francisco Pena doubled down the left field line to score Brahaiam Maldonado, who earlier drew a walk from Dunn.

Savannah then scored three unanswered runs against Dunn.  The Sand Gants took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second when Elvis Cruz scored on a Dunn wild pitch.  Cruz then connected for his fourth home run of the season in the fourth, a solo shot that was just inside the left field foul pole. 

The visitors extended the margin to 4-1 in the fifth when Pena singled through the left side to again drive home Maldonado.

The Sand Gnats will take Tuesday off for the Major League All-Star game and be in Rome for three games beginning on Wednesday.  The Gnats return home Saturday for a 7:05 game at Grayson Stadium.