Mason Williams hit a leadoff homer and Matt Bashore pitched five scoreless innings for the Charleston RiverDogs as they defeated the Savannah Sand Gnats 3-2 in South Atlantic League action on Monday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park with 2,230 fans in attendance.
The RiverDogs are now 41-31 (2-3 in the second half) on the season and they dropped the Sand Gnats to 42-30 (1-4 in the second half).
"Matt Bashore gave us a great start, five scoreless innings," said RiverDogs manager Carlos Mendoza. "We played some great defense, Mason got us started with that homer, pushed across a couple more, and the bullpen held on for the win. That was a big team win."
Charleston immediately jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Williams continued his incredible hot streak of late. For the third time in five games, Williams hit a lead-off homer, crushing a pitch from starter Marco Camarena (5-2) over the right field wall for his eighth home run of the year.
Given a slim lead to protect, RiverDogs starter Matt Bashore (1-1) was outstanding in doing so. In five innings of shutout ball, he allowed just two hits and one walk and induced two double plays in his first home start. He was provided with more support in the fourth thanks to a Gary Sanchez (1-2, 2 RBI) RBI single.
In the sixth, Angelo Gumbs (1-3, 2 runs) single-handedly got his team another run with his base running. Gumbs walked, stole second and then stole third. He came in to score on a sacrifice fly to center by Sanchez to put Charleston up 3-0.
After Bashore's strong start, the bullpen took over, but it didn't get any easier for the Sand Gnats. Joel De La Cruz fired two scoreless frames with no walks and two strikeouts. Philip Wetherell relieved De La Cruz in the eighth to try and finish the game. After a scoreless inning, he ran into some trouble in the ninth, allowing two runs and loading the bases with two outs, but he struck out Gilbert Gomez to end the game and earn his sixth save.