CLICK ON THE VIDEO TO SEE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SAVANNAH SAND GNATS AND ROME BRAVES THURSDAY NIGHT TO OPEN A 7-GAME HOMESTAND.
RELEASE FROM THE SAND GNATS:
MAZZILLI DELIVERS IN THE 12TH FOR THE GNATS
Savannah, GA – Nearly four hours after first pitch, LJ Mazzilli drove home Patrick Biondi with the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Gnats a 3-2 victory over the Rome Braves. The Gnats won their fourth straight game.
Biondi led off the 12th with his third single of the night. SS Gavin Cecchini sacrificed him to second base. The Braves decided not to challenge 3B Jeff McNeil, who was already 4-for-5 with two doubles to lift his batting average to .343, and go after Mazzilli. Mazzilli stung an 0-1 offering with a line drive down the left field line to chase home Biondi.
The Gnats (35-15) scored twice in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Cecchini doubled off the right field wall. He scored on McNeil’s double down the rightfield line. McNeil then stole third and came home on Victor Caratini’s throwing error for a 2-0 Savannah advantage.
The Braves (15-38) tied the game with two runs in the sixth. Caratini tripled home a run, and came home with the tying tally on 1B Jake Schrader’s single into center.
The Gnats’ bullpen of Akeel Morris, Robert Coles, John Mincone and Tim Peterson combined on 5.2 innings of scoreless innings in relief of Ricky Knapp.
Peterson picked up the win, for striking out Schrader with two runners on base to end a Braves’ threat in the top of the 12th inning.
The top four hitters in the Savannah order – Biondi, Cecchini, McNeil and Mazzilli – were a combined 12-for-20, with three walks, all three runs Savannah scored, and both RBI.