An RBI double by Kelvin De Leon in the 11th inning provided the winning tally in the Charleston RiverDogs 5-3 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats on Monday night in South Atlantic League action in front of 1,998 at Historic Grayson Stadium.
The victory by the first place RiverDogs puts them at 30-13 so far this season and Savannah is now 26-17.
The RiverDogs rally started with a double by Angelo Gumbs against pitcher Jeffrey Walters (3-1) that just missed being a solo home run. Gumbs moved to third on a Reymond Nunez single and that brought up De Leon (2-4, RBI, run), who put his team in the lead. Mason Williams provided some insurance with a sacrifice fly that scored Nunez. Ben Paullus (2-1) struck out the side in the tenth for the win and also pitched a scoreless eleventh to seal it.
The RiverDogs scored the game's first run off Savannah starting pitcher Jacob DeGrom, plating a run in the first inning when Williams doubled and scored on a single by Dante Bichette, Jr. Savannah came back with two in their half of the inning to take the lead. After a single and a stolen base by T.J. Rivera (1-4, RBI, run), a double by Dustin Lawley scored the first run. An RBI single by Brian Harrison then scored Lawley with the second run of the inning.
In the second, the Sand Gnats scored a third run off starter Brett Gerritse on a sacrifice fly by Rivera. The RiverDogs answered with a run of their own in the third when De Leon walked and scored on an error.
Charleston tied the game in the sixth by using a little trickery on the bases. Tyler Austin (2-5, run, 2 SB) doubled to start the inning and two batters later, Ben Gamel singled him to third. With two outs, Austin stole home as part of a double steal to even the score at three.
One of the main reasons the game was forced to go to extras was the outstanding work by the RiverDogs bullpen. Fred Lewis took over for Gerritse in the fifth and threw two scoreless innings. He was followed by Philip Wetherell, who tossed a scoreless frame, and Pedro Guerra, who tossed two before handing it over to Paullus. In seven innings of work, the Charleston bullpen didn't allow a hit.
The RiverDogs and the Sand Gnats play game two of this three game set Tuesday night with the first pitch set for 7:05 pm. RHP Scottie Allen (1-2, 3.07 ERA) will pitch for Charleston, LHP Alex Panteliodis (3-2, 2.94 ERA) for Savannah.