The Hagerstown Suns hosted the Savannah Sand Gnats Monday evening in Game One of the South Atlantic League Championship Series. Luis Cessa climbed the hill for the Sand Gnats, opposed by Jake Johansen for the Suns.
The Gnats left a runner in scoring position in the first inning, then went down in order in the second and third. Through three innings, they remained without a hit. Their first off Jake Johansen came in the top of the fourth courtesy of right fielder Maikis De La Cruz. Through six full, the Sand Gnats only managed three scattered hits. Eudy Pina and Phillip Evans had Savannah’s other two.
Hagerstown scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third. Catcher Pedro Severino connected on a lead-off double to left, and came around to score on a fielder’s choice. They scored twice more in the fifth inning. A two run scoring double struck by second baseman Tony Renda gave Hagerstown a 3-0 lead, and spelled the end of Luis Cessa’s evening. Jeurys Familia was summoned to pitch the sixth inning.
Savannah finally got on the board in the eighth, on Jeff Reynold’s RBI single off reliever Ian Dickson.
After Jeurys Familia and Hunter Carnevale pitched two scoreless innings, Savannah’s third reliever failed. The Hagerstown Suns scored three times in the eighth inning off reliever Estarlin Morel. Two doubles, a single, and a wild pitch all contributed to give the Suns a 6-1 lead. The Sand Gnats failed to score in the ninth inning off Gilberto Mendez, and thus dropped Game One to the Suns.
Luis Cessa was credited with the loss. Jake Johansen earned the victory.
Game Two is scheduled for Tuesday at Municipal Stadium, and will feature right-hander Seth Lugo on the mound for Savannah. The series will shift to Grayson Stadium for Game Three.