Savannah Sand Gnats Win 2013 South Atlantic League Championship!

nimmo sal champs

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!

Key Stats

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