Lower Minors: Nimmo Shines In Savannah Debut, Maron and Reynolds Ignite Offense

sand gnats

Rome Braves 5, Savannah Sand Gnats 3

The Rome Braves scored three runs in the top of the eighth to come from behind to defeat the Savannah Sand Gnats 5-3 in front of 2,509 fans on Opening Night at Historic Grayson Stadium.

CF Brandon Nimmo, the Mets’ first round pick in the 2011 draft, was 2-for-3 with a walk in his Savannah debut. Both of his knocks were hard singles up the middle.

The Gnats (0-1) took a 3-2 lead into the top of the eighth inning with reliever Bret Mitchell on the hill. With one out and the bases empty, Braves 1B Edison Sanchez chopped a ball to SS Philip Evans’ right that bounced by him for a fielding error. DH Aris Alcantara followed with a single up the middle to put runners at the corners.C Tyler Tewell then rolled a swinging bunt up the third base line to bring home Sanchez to tie the game at 3-3. The very next batter, RF Felix Marte laced a two-run double to left field giving the Braves a 5-3 lead.

The Gnats scored three times in their half of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead. Singles from 2B Chad Zurcher and Nimmo began the frame, with Nimmo’s chasing starter Rafael Briceno from the ballgame. 1B Jayce Boyd greeted relieve Bryam Garcia with double over the head of Braves centerfielder Tony Mueller that scored

Zurcher and Nimmo to tie the game at 2-2. After Boyd went to third on a wild pitch, he scored on 3B Cole Frenzel‘s sacrifice fly.

The Braves (1-0) scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings against Savannah starter Matt Bowman.

Rome reliever Francois Lafreniere (1-0) earned the win, while Mitchell (0-1) took the loss.

The Gnats and Braves play game two of their two game series Friday in Savannah. The Gnats will send 19-year old RHP Gabriel Ynoa to the hill with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Key Stats

St. Lucie

St. Lucie Mets 7, Jupiter Hammerheads 2

The St. Lucie opener was delayed about one hour due to inclement weather, but once the game started, the St. Lucie Mets jumped all over their opponents right out of the gate. They scored three runs in the first inning, and that was enough as the Hammerheads only scored two runs for the remainder of the game. The Hammerheads scored those two runs by launching home runs off of St. Lucie starter, Hansel Robles, in the first and fourth innings.

A scary moment came in the fourth inning, when on an errant pick-off attempt, Robles seemed to have hurt his throwing arm. After attempting to throw a couple of warm-ups, he was removed from the game. He left the game after going 3.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and adding six strikeouts.

Offensively, Cam Maron and Matt Reynolds both had a multi-hit games going 2 for 3 at the plate. Aderlin Rodriguez had two RBI and a double at the plate. It was truly a team effort on offense as five St. Lucie players chipped in with RBIs on the night.

Estarlin Morel picked up the win for St. Lucie after entering the game when Robles left with an injury.

Key Stats

  • Matt Reynolds – 2 for 3 – walk, RBI, run scored.
  • Cam Maron – 2 for 3 – double
  • Aderlin Rodriguez – 1 for 3 – double, 2 RBI, run scored
  • Hansel Robles – 3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 HR (left game in fourth inning with injury)