The strength of the Savannah Sand Gnats this year, much like the Mets, was in their pitching staff. The Sand Gnats might have done a lot of other things right in order to get to their position, but when it came down to a best-of-three series at home for Savannah with Gabriel Ynoa and Steven Matz still to pitch, I felt pretty damn confident about our chances. Ynoa, as you’ve heard, turned in an amazing performance yesterday in a Sand Gnats victory. Steven Matz, of course, didn’t want to be outdone — so he fired 5.2 scoreless innings today and struck out nine batters. Paul Sewald, Jeurys Familia, and Beck Wheeler combined for 3.1 scoreless innings as well — and struck out four batters.
In fact, the Savannah Sand Gnats finish their championship season with 19 straight scoreless innings, which is just amazing. Wheeler allowed a one-out double in the ninth to make it interesting, but he induced a game-ending pop-out to Phillip Evans in foul territory to send the stadium into a frenzy. Man, this is a great feeling!
The Gnats only had two hits all game — but the big one was a two-run double by Stefan Sabol, which scored Brandon Nimmo and Dilson Herrera. Savannah has won their first SAL Championship in 17 years (since 1996) and took the series 3-1 culminating with this victory at home. Say what you want about winning in the minors, but the entire Savannah team deserves a hell of a lot of accolades and respect. It was a great season!
Stefan Sabol: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Dilson Herrera: 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 R
Brandon Nimmo: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 R
Steven Matz: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 0 ER, 9 K
Paul Sewald: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 ER
Jeurys Familia: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Beck Wheeler: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K