SAVANNAH, GA. — A pop fly lost in the lights led to a double and the only run of the game as the Savannah Sand Gnats eked out a 1-0 win Tuesday night over the Charleston RiverDogs in South Atlantic League baseball at Grayson Stadium.
With their seventh straight loss, the RiverDogs fell to 22-23 in the second half and 61-52 overall. Charleston has yet to score a run in this series.
Pitching dominated the game, and it was scoreless all the way until the bottom of the sixth inning. After facing just one over the minimum in five scoreless frames, righty Brett Gerritse got the leadoff man in the sixth, Albert Cordero, to hit a lazy fly ball to center. Charleston center fielder Jake Cave lost the ball in the lights and it landed for a double, only Savannah’s third hit of the night.
A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third base, and then with the infield drawn in, Jorge Rivero was able to push the ball past a diving attempt by third baseman Ty Afenir and score Cordero to make it 1-0 in favor of the Sand Gnats (23-18, 65-45). That was the only run they would need.
The RiverDogs had a golden opportunity to score first in the second inning, but they could not cash it in. After a single and an error put runners at first and third bases with only one out, Reymond Nunez grounded into an inning-ending double play, stranding the runner at third base. Charleston never got closer despite outhitting the Sand Gnats, 6-4.
Gabriel Ynoa (13-4) threw 62/3 shutout innings for Savannah and allowed only three hits, collecting five strikeouts en route to his league-leading 13th win of the year. Tim Peterson and Hunter Carnavale combined to toss 11/3 scoreless innings to bridge the gap to the ninth when Beck Wheeler shut down the Dogs and collected his 14th save of the year.
Gerritse (8-6) got tagged with the tough-luck loss. He gave up just one run on four hits, no walks and six strikeouts. Derek Varnadore threw two perfect innings of relief for the RiverDogs.
Offensively, Ericson Leonora had another multi-hit game for Charleston, going 2 for 4. Wes Wilson, Ty Afenir, Jake Cave and Cito Culver each chipped in with singles as well.
The finale of the three-game series in Savannah is at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. It will be a battle of the Camarena’s with left-hander Daniel Camarena (3-6, 4.56 ERA) on the mound for Charleston and right-hander Marcos Camarena (5-1, 1.85) starting for Savannah.