Charleston RiverDogs left-hander Caleb Smith had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 231/3 innings pitched as the Savannah Sand Gnats eeked out a 1-0 win Saturday night in front of 5,056 fans at Riley Park in South Atlantic League baseball.
The RiverDogs fall to 18-16 with the loss.
Smith's streak is the sixth-best in Charleston's 10 seasons as a New York Yankees affiliate.
Over the first five innings, Smith and Savannah's John Gant kept the game scoreless with neither team able to capitalize on scoring chances.
The Sand Gnats (24-9) finally took a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning to stop Smith's streak. Smith (3-2) was ushered out of the contest after three straight walks. Giovanny Gallegos pitched with the bases loaded against Stefan Sabol, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Gavin Cecchini. Cecchini's run ended the scoreless stretch for Smith, who walked Cecchini to open the inning and was charged with the run.
Gant pitched a scoreless sixth inning before the bullpen finished Savannah's shutout win. Dawrin Frias stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the seventh and nearly allowed a go-ahead home run in the eighth, but Kale Sumner's fly ball to left field was caught in front of the wall. Pinch-hitter John Murphy produced a two-out single that extended the ninth inning before Robert Coles locked down the save with a game-ending strikeout.
Gant earned the victory, improving to 4-1 this season. Coles now has seven saves in as many chances.
The first 1,000 fans through the gates received a Tony the Peanut Man singing bobblehead, sponsored by WCSC Channel 5. Scores of citizens from Goose Creek enjoyed an evening at The Joe on Goose Creek Night. Following the close-knit contest, all the children in attendance had the opportunity to run around the bases, which is a staple of all Saturday home games for the RiverDogs.
Game 2 of this four-game series is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. on Sunday with RiverDogs RHP Brady Lail (4-1, 3.98 ERA) pitching against Sand Gnats RHP Chris Flexen (1-3, 7.50 ERA). Gildan's "Pampering in the Park" is a perfect Mother's Day treat with a mini-massage or mini-manicure for moms while their kids can decorate a T-shirt for them. It is also another CCPRC and Crews Subaru Kids Club Sunday, Seersucker Sunday, and celebrity "Smokin' Chef" John Schumacher will be stationed at the RiverDogs' new meat smoker to serve Smoked Pork Loin Sliders with a Peach Chutney. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, by calling (843) 577-3647 or online at www.riverdogs.com.
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