Despite having the worst record in the league, the Savannah Sand Gnats have managed to split the first 6 games with the Columbus Catfish this season. The back and forth continued today, with the Catfish coming from behind then holding on to beat Savannah 4-2.
Three Catfish errors in the 5th inning gave Savannah a 1-0 lead without having a hit in the inning.
In the 6th, the Catfish fought back and took the lead. RF Maiko Loyola walked, moved to second on a single by Cesar Suarez (3B), then to third on a fly ball out. After Savannah changed pitchers, Ryan Royster drove in Loyola on a sacrifice fly to deep short. 2B Brett Grandstrand singled, scoring Cesar Suarez, then stole second, and moved to third on an error. 1B Matt Fields singled to left, scoring Grandstrand, and putting the Catfish up 3-1.
In the 7th, Savannah put another run on the board, closing the gap to 3-2.
After the stretch, the Catfish got the run back. SS Jairo De La Rosa bunted his way on to first, then moved to second on a passed ball. Desmond Jennings (CF) sacrificed him to third. Loyola singled to center, driving home De La Rosa, and putting the Catfish up 4-2.
Heath Rollins allowed 1 unearned run on just one hit, striking out 5 and not walking anyone, in running his record to 6-0 (1.04 ERA). Ryan Reid pitched 2 innings, allowing a run on 2 hits, striking out a pair and walking one. Neal Frontz pitched the 9th, hit the leadoff batter, but set down the next three to pick up his 7th save.
At the plate, the Catfish scratched out 8 hits, with Loyola the only batter to get more than 1 hit. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
The win puts the Catfish in 2nd place, a game behind Augusta, who beat Lexington this afternoon. Asheville dropped their game to Hickory, allowing the Catfish to move into 2nd place, a half-game ahead of the Tourists.
The series with Savannah concludes Monday afternoon, with the Catfish holding a 2-1 lead in this series, and a 4-3 season series lead.