April 17, 2010 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Savannah Sand Gnats
Tonight: The Gnats play their second road game of the year and the second game of a four-game series at Rome.
Last Night: The Gnats beat Rome for their second straight win, both of which have come by a score of 4-1. Starter Collin McHugh allowed just one run on four hits over five innings. Brandon Moore followed McHugh with four scoreless innings of relief. Moore struck out four and did not walk a batter. In the first inning, after singles by Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares, Rafael Fernandez brought them both home with a two-run triple. Savannah added single runs in the third and eighth innings. Lagares was 3-4 and scored three of the Gnats four runs.
Now Pitching: Darin Gorski will make his first start for the Gnats tonight. Gorski made his only Gnats appearance in relief of Taylor Whitenton on Monday in the Gnats\' 2-0 loss to Augusta. Gorski threw four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. He gave up just one single and did not walk a batter. Last year for the Brooklyn Cyclones, Gorski was 3-4 with a 4.91 in 62.1 innings over 13 appearances 11 of which were starts. He struck out 50 batters and walked 26. The Mets selected Gorski in the 7th round of the 2009 draft out of Kutztown (PA) University where he earned the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Pitcher of the year award in 2009, his junior year. In 2009, Gorski led the Kutztown Golden Bears in strikeouts (100), innings pitched (78.2) and batting average against (.208). He was 10th in Division II in strikeouts.
Top of the Charts: Gnats pitching leads the SAL with a 2.11 ERA (19 ER/82 IP). Gnats pitching has the best WHIP (0.94) in the league. The staff has allowed the second-fewest hits (56), two behind Rome (54) and is tied with West Virginia for the second-fewest walks allowed (20), one behind the Hickory Crawdads, who lead the category. The Gnats are seventh in the league in strikeouts (79).
Contact! In his first 38 plate appearances, 18-year old shortstop Wilmer Flores is hitting .351 (13 H/37 AB), with one walk, and one strike out after fanning for the first time Friday night. Flores leads the SAL in PA/strikeout ratio (38), and teammate Kai Gronauer (25) is second. As a team, the Gnats have struck out just 62 times, the fewest of any unit in the SAL.
Nice Night: Juan Lagares tied a Gnats\' season high with three hits last night and scored three times, the most by any Gnat in a game this season.
Four is the Magic Number: The Gnats are 5-0 when they score four or more runs and 0-4 when they score three runs or fewer.
Bottom of the Barrel: The Gnats are 13th in the 14-team SAL in runs scored (30), and 13th in batting average (.232), on-base percentage (.291) and last in slugging percentage (.318). Savannah is the only SAL team which has not homered.
On the Road: The Gnats were 33-38 on the road last year compared to 32-34 at home. The Gnats hit .254/.316/.382 (AVG/OBP/SLG) on the road and .250/.313/.340 at home. At home, the Gnats had a 2.62 ERA and allowed 3.8 runs per game, while those numbers jumped to a 3.84 ERA and 4.43 runs per game away from Grayson Stadium.