(Savannah) – The Sand Gnats exploded for 11 runs en route to an 11-3 win over Greenville in the opener of a doubleheader at Grayson Stadium Friday evening. The Drive gained a split with a 4-1 win in the nightcap. Savannah native John Michael Gant dominated early by striking out the side in the first inning for the Gnats, but dropped his second decision of the season.
CLICK ON THE VIDEO LINK TO SEE THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM BOTH GAMES FRIDAY NIGHT AT GRAYSON STADIUM.
RELEASE FROM THE SAND GNATS:
GNATS SPLIT WITH DRIVE ON FRIDAY
Savannah, GA – The Savannah Sand Gnats and the Greenville Drive split a doubleheader Friday night at Historic Grayson Stadium. The Gnats blew out the Drive 11-3 in game one and Greenville bounced back with a 4-1 win in game two.
The Gnats (28-12) scored in each of their first five turns at bat in game one to support a fine start from Miller Diaz. Diaz struck out eight over five shutout innings to lower his ERA to 1.74 while earning his fourth win of 2014.
3B Jeff McNeil, who had three hits, was one of four Gnats who reached base safely three times in game one. SS Gavin Cecchini doubled and walked twice, 2B LJ Mazzilli doubled and walked twice and DH Dominic Smith singled twice and walked once.
The Gnats scored first in game two with a run in the bottom of the first, but did not cross home plate again.
On the hill, John Michael Gant cruised through the first three innings, striking out six, but allowed two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
The Drive (21-18) scored twice in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. RBI singles from C Jake Romanski and CF Manuel Margot gave Greenville the lead.
Greenville added two runs in the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Romanski to take a 4-1 lead.
The Gnats stranded at least one runner aboard in the second through sixth innings but could neither expand their early lead nor eliminate their deficit in the later frames.
The Gnats remain 6.5 games ahead of Greenville with 29 games left in the first half.
The Gnats will welcome the Charleston RiverDogs to town Saturday with RHP Robert Gsellman (2-2, 1.48) to the mound against RHP Jaron Long (2-1, 2.59). Players and coaches will wear special pink jerseys for Kia Country Pink in the Park Night. The jerseys will be auctioned off during the game with the winners receiving their jerseys from the players after the game. Proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure Coastal GA Affiliate. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.