On Friday, June 14th, the Savannah Sand Gnats captured the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division first half flag, with a 2-1 extra-inning victory over the Greenville Drive. Brandon Nimmo drove in the game winning run with a sac-fly. On Sunday, they defeated the Greenville Drive yet again to extend their winning streak to six games, and conclude their first half schedule with a league best 43-26 record – the only team heading into the break with forty or more victories. The Savannah Sand Gnats also recently won first half titles during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Tomorrow, June 18th, the South Atlantic League will pit their top Northern Division talent versus the Southern Division’s blue chips, in the circuit’s annual All-Star game, being played this season in Lakewood, New Jersey, home of the Blue Claws – a Philadelphia affiliate.
Savannah’s catcher Kevin Plawecki and first baseman Jayce Boyd were named Southern Division starters for tomorrow evening’s game. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo was selected as a back-up. Starting pitcher Gabriel Ynoa and reliever Bret Mitchell will provide support out of the bullpen. Sand Gnats manager Luis Rojas will lead the Southern team against the North as well. Frank Viola will serve as pitching coach.
Jayce Boyd leads the team, as well as the South Atlantic League in batting with a .361 average, in hits with ninety-two, and is tops with a .441 OBP. Kevin Plawecki is second on the team with a .314 mark, while Brandon Nimmo’s .302 average is third. Kevin Plawecki is tied for the league lead with twenty-four doubles.
Starting pitcher Gabriel Ynoa leads the South Atlantic League with eight (8-2) wins. He is additionally tied for the SAL lead with 74.2 innings pitched. His 0.94 WHiP ranks second, and his 2.77 ERA rates eleventh in the league. Reliever Bret Mitchell is tied for fifth in the circuit with ten saves. Overall, Gabriel Ynoa leads the Sand Gnats with twelve starts. He has limited opponents to sixty-one hits, walked nine, and struck out sixty-three batters. Bret Mitchell is tied for the team lead with twenty-two appearances. In 30.2 innings pitched, he has limited opponents to twenty-three hits, seven walks, and forty-one strikeouts. His WHiP is a stellar 0.98, and owns a 2.35 earned run average. As a staff, the Savannah Sand Gnats lead the league with a 2.90 team ERA, and a 1.11 team WHiP. They’ve also issued the fewest walks in the league, and rank second with 609 strikeouts.
Good luck to all the Savannah Sand Gnats participating in Tuesday’s game.