Up 3-0 halfway through the game, the Columbus Catfish watched the Savannah Sand Gnats (Nationals) battle back, tying the game in the bottom of the ninth, but came away with a 5-3 win in 10 innings.
The Catfish took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when 1B David Sutherland walked, then 2B Travis Denker singled. DB Tony Harper doubled in Sutherland scores, then C Conor McGeehan, in his first at-bat for the Catfish, singled to score Denker. Harper scored on CF Bridger Hunt's grounds out to close out the scoring for the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Savannah got on the board when 2B Ofilio Castro doubled in C John Poppert and SS Jose Contreras. Catfish starter James McDonald then got the next two Sand Gnats out to hold on to a 3-2 lead.
It stayed that way through the 8th inning when reliever Kale Garrison allowed a single baserunner in the 7th and Matthew Gomez de Segura pitched a perfect 8th, to turn it over to closer Ramon Troncoso.
Troncoso suffered his first blown save of the year when, after getting the first two Savannah batters out, he allowed John Poppert on with a single. Pinch runner Reginald Fitzpatrick stole second, then advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by Catfish C Conor McGeehan. Fitzpatrick tied the game when he came in on Savannah SS Jose Contreras' single to center field.
The tenth inning was all Columbus, as, with one out, RF Sergio Pedroza hit hsi league-leading 21st home run over Grayson Stadium's 270-foot deep left field wall. 3B Russ Mitchell followed with his 12th home run, over the center field fence.
In the bottom of the inning, Savannah put three runners on base, but one was taken away in a double play, and the other two were stranded when Troncoso struck out Savannah 3B Leonard Davis to protect the lead and pick up his first win.
With the win, the Catfish are all alone in third place, a game behind second-place Greenvile and five games behind first-place Augusta.
Friday night, the Catfish get the chance to sweep Savannah on the road when this short, 3-game series wraps up.