Savannah 8, Rome 6
The Savannah Sand Gnats (5-4) got back in the win column with an 8-6 victory over the Rome Braves, even after relinquishing a four run lead in the seventh.
Rome jumped out on top in the first, set up on a fielding error by Gnats shortstop Phillip Evans. Savannah got even on through a Brandon Nimmo sacrifice fly, however, which scored Eudy Pina. The Gnats took a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning, where Yucary De La Cruz doubled home Cole Frenzel, who singled earlier. Red hot Jayce Boyd would go on to hit a three run bomb to straight away left field, scoring De La Cruz and Nimmo.
Rome and Savannah traded runs in the sixth, as reliever Tim Peterson‘s first pitch was sent out of the ballpark by Rome’s Edison Sanchez. Peterson was brought in to reliever starter Steven Matz, who hurled five strong innings and only yielded an unearned run off four hits and a walk. The Gnats got the run back in their half of the sixth after Cole Frenzel doubled home Jeffrey Glenn, giving Savannah a 6-2 lead at the time.
Rome would unfortunately come back to tie with four runs in the seventh, off the strength of six straight singles. Tim Peterson was removed after the first three, and although Julian Hilario came on to allow three more in a row, he rebounded with three straight strikeouts to finish up the frame. Of the six hits Savannah allowed in the seventh, four of them were infield hits.
The ever-resilient Gnats stormed back to take the lead in the bottom of the inning, though. A walk and a hit-by-pitch put Yucary De La Cruz and Brandon Nimmo on base, respectively, and they both advanced a base due to an error. Jayce Boyd produced an RBI groundout and Kevin Plawecki doubled in Brandon Nimmo. Plawecki now has seven doubles in 35 at-bats, and a .743 slugging percentage to begin the season.
Cole Frenzel: 2-for-4, 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI
Jayce Boyd: 1-for-4, HR, 1 R, 4 RBI
Steven Matz: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 0 ER, 7 K