Ninth Inning Rally Falls Just Short as Gnats Lose 5-4
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Gnats rallied for three in the ninth inning, but it wasn't enough Tuesday night. They lost 5-4 and left the tying run at third base when the game ended. Nelson Portillo (3-11) took the loss for Savannah while Jamie Richmond (7-6) earned the win for Rome. Ryne Reynoso earned his seventh save of the season
Brandon Richey led off the ninth with a line drive single to left. After Hector Pellot lined out, Jonathan Santos singled to put runners on first and second. Jared Shaffer then walked Josh Thole to load the bases for Savannah's best hitter, D.J. Wabick.
Tyler Wilson entered out of the bullpen to face Wabick, who lined a ball off Wilson's throwing hand. Wilson made an errant throw home, allowing Richey to score from third. A walk to Richard Pena brought in another run for Savannah to cut Rome's lead to 5-3.
Rome Manager Randy Ingle made another change and went with Reynoso to face Francisco Pena. Pena grounded out to first but Thole scored from third on the play to make it 5-4 Rome. Reynoso then struck out pinch hitter Darren Clark on three pitches to end the game.
Travis Jones three-run home run in the fifth put Rome up 4-1. The home run was the second of the day for Jones, who gave Rome the lead in the third with a solo home run. Phillip Britton's solo home run in the top of the eighth off reliever Matt Durkin put Rome up 5-1 at the time but proved to be the game winning run.
Wabick finished the game 2-for-5 to bring his average up to .293. Richard Pena also had a good night at the dish, going 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk and an RBI.
Savannah and Rome play Game 2 of this three-game set tomorrow beginning at 7:05 p.m. It is a Working Women's Wednesday with $1 admission and drink specials to all women with a business card or employee badge. On the hill for the Sand Gnats will be Greg Mullens (5-3, 4.31), who is looking for his team-leading sixth win. Rome counters with lefty Cole Rohrbough (2-0, 0.60).
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