Aderlin Rodriguez swatted a walk-off home run in the tenth inning to break a scoreless tie and give the Savannah Sand Gants a 1-0 victory over the Charleston RiverDogs on Friday night in South Atlantic League action at Historic Grayson Stadium in front of a crowd of 1,796.
This loss drops the RiverDogs' record to 48-34 (9-6 in the second half), while the Sand Gnats now stand at 46-36 (5-10 in the second half) this season.
Rodriguez's game-winning home run came to lead-off the tenth inning against reliever Mariel Checo (7-2), who had pitched a scoreless ninth. T.J. Chism (2-2) struck out two in a perfect top of the tenth to earn the win.
Both starters had all their pitches working in this one. Charleston's Matt Bashore and Savannah's Michael Fulmer shut down both offenses in the pitcher's duel. They matched zeroes for much of the game, as Bashore allowed only two hits and three walks with six strikeouts in six frames, and Fulmer conceded just two hits and one walk to go with four punch-outs over seven innings.
The Sand Gnats had some opportunities to score, but they were thwarted each time. They got two on to start the third, but a line drive double play helped kill the rally. The next inning, Matthew Reynolds and Gilbert Gomez singled to start the frame, but Bashore retired the next three batters to escape the jam. The RiverDogs best chance to score came when Ben Gamel reached second on an error with one out in the sixth, only to be stranded.
Starting in the bottom of the seventh, the bullpens took over. Bashore departed in favor of Philip Wetherell, who faced the minimum six batters over two innings. Chasen Bradford replaced Fulmer in the eighth, retired the side in order and followed that up with a scoreless ninth.
On Saturday, Charleston and Savannah will play a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 pm. The RiverDogs will start RHP Will Oliver (3-3, 4.43 ERA) in game one, while his opponent is TBD, and RHP Brett Gerritse (1-3, 5.02 ERA) in game two against LHP Jim Fuller (1-1, 2.70 ERA).