So far during this stilll young season, baseball fans in Savannah have been treated to good times. The Sand Gnats are 12-4 at home, and have played 6-5 baseball on the road. Overall, the Gnats presently reside in first place of the SAL Southern Division with an 18-9 record, one full game ahead of the Rome Braves.
On Saturday, Savannah began a four game trip against the Hickory Crawdads (16-12), who currently place second in the Northern Division, one half game behind the leading Hagerstown Suns. The Sand Gnats claimed victory yesterday by a 9-2 final. Later this afternoon in game two, Savannah’s Matthew Koch will climb the hill, opposed by the Crawdads’ Sam Stafford.
Yesterday, Kevin Plawecki continued a terrific start to his 2013 sophomore season. In five plate appearances batting clean-up, Kevin notched a double and hit his fifth home run of the season. He finished with thee hits overall, and four runs batted in. He now has twenty-six RBI in twenty-six games played, which ranks him third in the league.
In less than half the plate appearances he made last season, Kevin’s early season exploits have already shadowed his entire 2012 sixty-one game effort in Brooklyn. Sandy Alderson’s #1 selection of the 2012 amateur draft finished his first campaign as a pro hitting .250 for the Cyclones in 252 at-bats. This season, Kevin’s .416 batting average leads the South Atlantic League. His team mate, Jayce Boyd is second in the circuit with a .375 average. In 115 plate appearances, Kevin additionally leads the Sally League with forty-two hits, seventeen doubles, a .470 OBP, a .733 slugging average, and is number one in the circuit with a 1.202 OPS.
Kevin Plawecki, 22, has made nineteen starts behind the plate, and has thrown out runners at a rate of twenty-seven percent. He started seven other games as a designated hitter. Last season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, Kevin threw runners out at a 32% rate in the New York-Penn League, where pitchers rely more on fastballs.
His battery mate, Rainy Lara, 22, is also stamping an early impression upon the South Atlantic League. He took the hill Saturday and kept the Crawdad’s line-up relatively silent through seven full innings pitched. To start, Lara retired the first ten batters he faced. He allowed just four hits, issued a lone walk in the fourth inning, and struck out six batters. He was charged with one run, however unearned. In gaining his fourth win (4-1) of the season, Rainy’s ERA dropped from 1.88 to a 1.45 mark, and his WHiP similarly lowered from 0.956, to a 0.935 spot.
In thirty-one total innings pitched this season, Rainy Lara has issued only four bases on balls, while striking out thirty and limiting batters to twenty-five hits. With an 8.7 K/9 average, his rate of strikeouts is slightly down versus last year’s 10.2 rate with Brooklyn. His H/9 is marginally up, while his W/9 is improved. Otherwise, Rainy continues to pour down upon Sally League batters. Lara is currently tied with his team mate Matthew Bowman, for the league lead in wins with four. Bowman (4-0), who is undefeated so far, has a 2.64 earned run average. Lara’s 1.45 ERA currently ranks seventh in the circuit.
Game Two versus the Hickory Crawdads is scheduled for 5pm.