Chris Schwinden (2-0) brought his best game to the ballpark tonight in Augusta as he struck out six in six innings to help the Sand Gnats to a, 3-1, win over the Augusta GreenJackets. Jordany Valdespin’s two-run home run proved to be the difference maker.
Schwinden permitted just one unearned run on three hits in his six innings of work. At one point during the game, the Visalia, Calif. native retired eight-straight Augusta hitters.
Savannah put a run on the scoreboard in the first inning for the third consecutive night. Sean Ratliff drove in his third run of the season when he doubled in Wilmer Flores from first to give Schwinden the early, 1-0, cushion.
In the second, Augusta starter Kyle Nicholson (0-2) struck out the first two men he faced but then issued a free pass to Raul Reyes. Valdespin made him pay for the two-out walk with his first home run of the season.
The Sand Gnats bullpen was masterful again, throwing three innings of scoreless baseball. Jimmy Johnson and Rhiner Cruz combined for the superb bullpen work with Cruz picking up his second save by striking out the side in the ninth.
All-in-all, the Sand Gnats struck out a season-high 11 Augusta batters in the game. Savannah has now defeated Augusta in four of the five games between the two clubs this season.