Savannah, Ga.- Jeff McNeil chopped an infield single on the left side of the diamond to bring home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to push the Gnats past the Braves 4-3 Sunday afternoon at Historic Grayson Stadium. The Gnats (37-16), who have the best record in the South Atlantic League, won their second straight and three of four from the Braves in the series and are now 10-2 against Rome in 2014.
Savannah catcher Colton Plaia began the bottom of the eighth inning with a double to the base of the left field wall. Victor Cruzado was inserted as a pinch-runner, and advanced to third on LF Patrick Biondi’s sacrifice bunt before scoring on McNeil’s infield single. McNeil finished 3-for-4 with three RBI.
McNeil drove home two runs with a bases loaded single into center field in the third inning that gave the Gnats a 3-1 lead.
Two Gnats – McNeil and 2B LJ Mazzilli – accounted for six of the seven Savannah hits Sunday afternoon.
After the Braves (16-40) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, Mazzilli evened the game on the first pitch of the bottom of the second inning with a solo homerun to right. The Braves tied the game at 3-3 with single runs in the sixth and seventh against Savannah starter John Michael Gant. Gant struck out four, walked two and allowed six hits in his seven innings, but was not involved in the decision.
Savannah reliever Dawrin Frias worked around a couple of baserunners in the eighth to earn his third win of 2014. Closer Robert Coles stranded two more runners in the ninth to convert his tenth save in ten chances.
The Gnats welcome the second-place Asheville Tourists to town Monday to begin a three-game set. Savannah will send RHP Chris Flexen (2-5, 6.37) to the hill against RHP Alex Berg (3-3, 3.79).
As a part of Kroger Dollar Monday, presented by Savannah Morning News, Fans can take advantage of $1 tickets by showing their Kroger Plus Card at the box office, or by using the $1 coupon found at participating Kroger stores, in the Savannah Morning News, or online at SavannahNow.com. Fans can also enjoy $1 hot dogs, chips, small sodas, and PBR beer all night long.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Gates to Historic Grayson Stadium open at 6 pm. The radio pregame show on News/Talk 630 WBMQ begins at 6:45 pm.