Savannah Sand Gnats pitcher Robert Gsellman pitched seven-plus scoreless innings in a 4-0 shutout victory against the Charleston RiverDogs on Wednesday night in front of 3,197 fans at Riley Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs are 2-5 in the second half and have a 35-42 record this season. The Sand Gnats improved to 4-3 and 48-25, respectively. Wednesday's game was the second straight shutout following a 2-0 Savannah two-hitter in game two of a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Savannah scratched the scoreboard with two runs in the third inning. Stefan Sabol was on second base with a 2-2 count on Champ Stuart when Stuart laced a two-out single against Chaz Hebert to bring in Sabol. Stuart reached third on the play after a throw to home plate with an error. On the next pitch, Yeixon Ruiz doubled to score Stuart for a 2-0 Sand Gnats lead.
Two more runs in the seventh gave Savannah a 4-0 advantage. Giovanny Gallegos had two runners in scoring position, two outs and a full count when Victor Cruzado hit a single to third base that was coupled with an error. Sabol scored on the base hit and Ruiz scored on the error.
Gsellman pitched into the eighth inning in a shutout start. He retired the first 11 batters that he faced before Tyler Wade singled in the fourth. In the fifth inning, Gsellman left runners at the corners on a strikeout in his only jam before the eighth.
Charleston almost scored after loading the bases in the eighth. Miguel Andujar singled, John Murphy walked, and Brandon Thomas singled ahead of Michael O'Neill and the top of the lineup. Gsellman was relieved by Dawrin Frias, who recorded a strikeout and induced a double play to end the inning and keep the shutout intact. Frias tossed a perfect ninth inning that closed the contest.
Gsellman earned the win and is now 6-3 this season. Hebert was handed the loss and dropped to 0-1. Frias claimed his first save for the Sand Gnats.
SC Advocates for Epilepsy came to the game for "Dogs with a Cause," displaying signs with their acronym "SAFE" when the RiverDogs were called safe on different plays during the game. It was Guaranteed Wins-Day, so the loss by the RiverDogs means that all fans in attendance may use their tickets to get into the next Wednesday home game for free.
The finale of the four-game series will be played at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. The probable pitchers are Charleston LHP Ian Clarkin (2-3, 3.47 ERA) and Savannah RHP John Gant (7-3, 2.13 ERA).
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