Savannah, GA – The Sand Gnats needed a win on Friday night at Historic Grayson Stadium to keep their season alive. Savannah posted seven runs in the first inning and cruised to a game two victory over the Asheville Tourists, 9-2.
The Gnats (1-1) led off the game with a double from 2B Jonathan Johnson. Team RBI leader RF Wuilmer Becerra drove in Johnson with a dribbler down the first baseline. A single from 3B Eudor Garcia and walk by LF John Mora loaded the bases and DH JC Rodriguez cleared them with a three-run double to center. C Tyler Moore singled and CF Patrick Biondi walked to re-load the bases and Johnson cleared them with his second double of the inning.
The Tourists (1-1) pulled their starter Carlos Polanco (0-1) after he faced nine hitters in the opening frame Friday. Reliever Grahamm Wiest started the second inning for the Tourists. Garcia doubled and scored off Wiest to give the Gnats an 8-0 lead.
Savannah starter RHP Ricky Knapp (1-0) was rolling through five innings, allowing just two hits. A leadoff single from RF Yonathan Daza in the sixth allowed the Tourists to plate their first run on a sacrifice fly to center field. 1B Roberto Ramos singled in the seventh and scored on an RBI-single from 3B Josh Fuentes.
Relievers Luis Mateo and Alberto Baldonado each allowed one hit and struck out one in their shutout innings of relief.
Savannah and Asheville will play the rubber-match at Historic Grayson Stadium at 6:05pm. The Gnats will send RHP Casey Delgado to the hill, while the Tourists will start RHP Tyler Chatwood (MLB Rehab) in game three.