Charley Thurber was the hero for Savannah on Tuesday night as the Sand Gnats stung the first place Charleston RiverDogs by a score of 5-3 in front of 1,100 at Historic Grayson Stadium. Savannah scored three times in the eighth inning, including a big two RBI triple by Thurber, to erase a 3-2 deficit and tie the series at one game apiece.
Charleston fell behind early with Savannah scoring an unearned run on a wild pitch following an error on centerfielder Mason Williams in the second inning, then adding another on an RBI single by Aderlin Rodriguez (1-3, run, RBI, walk) in the fourth inning.
Trailing 2-0, the RiverDogs took their first lead of the game in the sixth inning. Angelo Gumbs (1-4, run) doubled to lead the inning off. Reymond Nunez (2-4, run, RBI) then singled Gumbs home to cut the lead in half. Following a Mason Williams single, Cito Culver (1-3, two RBI) doubled to deep center scoring both Nunez and Williams, and putting Charleston on top 3-2. It stayed that way until the eighth.
Joel de la Cruz (2-2) came in to pitch for the RiverDogs, but unfortunately just could not close it out. After striking out Cam Maron to begin the inning, he then walked TJ Rivera to put the tying run on base. A balk moved Rivera to second, and a ground out to shortstop by Dustin Lawley moved Rivera to third. With two outs Rodriguez walked, and Bryan Harrison followed with a single to score Rivera and tie the game at three. Thurber (2-3, run, two RBI's, walk) then capped off his nice night at the plate with a monster two RBI triple to deep right centerfield scoring both Rodriguez and Harrison to put the Sand Gnats up by the final score of 5-3.
Bryan Mitchell started for Charleston and was solid allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts over five innings of work en route to a no decision. Savannah's starter Alex Panteliodis also got a no decision after four innings of five hit shutout baseball. Chasen Bradford tossed two innings of scoreless relief and earned the win to move to 1-0, and TJ Chism pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his sixth save of the season.
The rubber match of the series will take place Wednesday with RHP Domingo Tapia (3-2, 4.25 ERA) starting for Savannah, and RHP Scottie Allen (1-2, 3.07 ERA) on the mound for Charleston. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm on Wednesday night.