The Columbus Catfish picked up their third win of the young season tonight, beating the Savannah Sand Gnats (Mets) 8-3 on the road.
The Catfish jumped out to an early lead, and were never seriously threatened.
In the 2nd, RF Maiko Loyola walked, stole second, and scored on a single by C Mike McCormick. 1B Henry Wrigley singled. McCormick was picked off second, then LF Shawn Williams singled to center. Two passed balls allowed Wrigley to score and Williams to move to third. SS Omar Luna doubled, sending Williams home. Luna stole third, then scored on a wild pitch, giving the Catfish a 4-0 lead.
The Catfish extended the lead in the 3rd, on a single by DH Reid Fronk and a double by 3B Gregory Sexton.
In the 4th, with 1 out, Luna singled and stole second. CF Emeel Salem walked, then 2B Cody Cipriano singled Luna home, giving the Catfish a 6-0 lead.
The 6th inning saw Luna reach on a 1-out walk, then score on a double by Salem. Salem stole third, then Cipriano was hit by a pitch. Salem scored on a sacrifice fly by Fronk, giving the Catfish an 8-0 lead.
Savannah closed the gap in the 7th. Reliever Christopher Fessler gave up a 3-run homer to Savannah 2B Greg Veloz, making it 8-3.
The Catfish threatened to expand their lead, loading the bases in the 8th, but were unable to push anyone across.
Salem, Fronk, and Luna each had a pair of hits ... a single and a double ... and every Catfish starter reached base, all but Loyola on hits, while Loyola walked twice and scored a run.
Defensively, in the 1st inning, Loyola threw out Savannah's Richard Pena at home when Pena tried to score from second on a single to center.
Starter Josh Johnson pitched 6 innings, now allowing a run, just two 1st inning hits, and striking out 7, picking up his first win of the year. Fessler allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, including the HR by Veloz, and notched 1 strikeout. Travis Risser pitched the last 2 innings, allowing a pair of hits, and striking out three.
The win improves the Catfish to 3-6, 4 games behind first place Charleston.