Savannah Bests Lakewood, 2-1

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LAKEWOOD – The Savannah Sand Gnats scrapped together two runs in the top of the eighth to stun the BlueClaws 2-1 Monday night at FirstEnergy Park.

Nick Hernandez shut down the Gnats (20-12), allowing just three hits in seven scoreless innings and the BlueClaws (17-15) went into the eighth with a 1-0 lead.


That’s when reliever Ebelin Lugo (0-1) ran into trouble. Lugo walked the leadoff hitter Dock Doyle, and Alonzo Harris sacrificed the runner to second. With two outs Juan Lagares then singled home Doyle to tie the game at one.

Savannah wasn’t finished. Wilmer Flores singled to put runners on the corners, and Jefry Marte brought home the go-ahead run on an infield single to short to make it 2-1 Savannah.

The BlueClaws managed to get the tying run to second in the ninth with two outs, but Adam Buschini grounded out to end the game and the series.

Chris Hilliard (1-0) pitched four hitless innings of relief for the Sand Gnats to pick up the win in his first day and first appearance with the team. He was picked up from the airport earlier on Monday.

Eric Turgeon threw a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season.

For Lakewood the loss forces a split with Savannah, a 4-4 homestand, and drops the Claws three games back of first place Hickory in the Northern division.

In the first inning it looked like it might be a big night for the BlueClaws offense. They loaded the bases on an error and two walks by Savannah starter Armando Rodriguez. Sebastian Valle then walked to bring in the first run of the game for the BlueClaws.

Buschini would pop out to third however to end the threat, and the BlueClaws would manage just two hits the rest of the way: a Jonathan Villar single in the third, and a Leandro Castro single to lead off the ninth.

After an off-day Tuesday, the BlueClaws will start an eight game road trip in Greenville, SC. At 7:05 Wednesday RHP Brody Colvin (2-4, 7.31) will get the start for the BlueClaws against Drive RHP Manuel Rivera (2-2, 2.17).

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