From: Press Release
Game #17 - Home Game #9 - Saturday – 6:05
Savannah Sand Gnats (10-6, t-1st, Southern) vs. Hickory Crawdads (8-8, t-3rd, Northern)
LHP Jimmy Fuller (2-1, 0.87) vs. LHP Robbie Ross (1-2, 3.95)
Historic Grayson Stadium - Savannah, GA
Radio: WBMQ News/Talk 630, http://www.sandgnats.com/
Tonight: The Gnats begin a four-game series with Hickory and an eight-game homestand against the Hickory Crawdads and the Lexington Legends.
Last Night: The Gnats fell to Augusta 9-5. Savannah was undone by a five-run Augusta sixth inning against starter Armando Rodriguez and reliever Erik Turgeon. The Gnats took a 3-0 lead in the third inning on a three-run double from SS Wilmer Flores and after a two-run Augusta bottom of the third, led 3-2 going into the decisive sixth inning. Flores hit .368 (7-19) against Augusta with four doubles, 2 home runs and 13 RBI in the four games.
Now Pitching: Jimmy Fuller will make his fourth start as a Gnat. In his last start, Fuller gave up one run on six hits in six and two thirds innings in Rome in a 4-1 Savannah win. He is currently eighth in the SAL with a 0.87 ERA, and second in innings pitched (20.2). Among SAL starters, he has allowed the fifth lowest batting average (.164) and the fourth fewest base runners per nine innings pitched (6.53). Fuller spent all of 2009 with the Brooklyn Cyclones where he was a NYP League All-Star in a season in which he was 3-6 with a 2.86 ERA in 12 games, 11 of which were starts. Fuller struck out 67 batters and walked fifteen for a sterling K/BB ratio of 4.67. Fuller was a DII All-American in 2008 at Southern Connecticut State University where he led DII in strikeouts with 145, averaging 13 whiffs per nine innings. He was 9-3 with a 1.39 ERA and put together a streak of 59 scoreless innings.
Savannah is 2-1 when Fuller starts and has supported him with 3 runs per game (9 R/3 starts), the second lowest run support among Gnats starters.
Roadtrip Recap: The Gnats were 6-2 on their trip to Rome and Augusta. Savannah hit .294/.373/.450 (AVG/OBP/SLG) and scored 7.5 runs per game, compared to .233/.293/.315 on the season-opening eight game homestand during which the team scored 3.25 runs per game.
Roster Update: C Michael Moras was assigned to AA Binghamton where C Mike Nickeas was placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
Lets Go Streaking! Wilmer Flores has hit in eight straight games, over which time he is hitting .382 (13 H/34 AB) with five doubles, two home runs, four walks, four strikeouts, six runs scored and 15 RBI. Rafael Fernandez has hit in seven straight and Kai Gronauer in five straight. Cesar Puello had his eight game hit streak snapped last night, while Pedro Zapata had his six gamer snapped.
A Healthy Margin: The Gnats have the best scoring margin in the league, at +38, having outscored their opponents by a combined score of 86-48. The Lexington Legends, who hold a +25 run differential are the second-best.
Defensive Data: Savannah has the second-best fielding percentage in the SAL (.977) trailing only Asheville (.979) and has committed the second-fewest errors (13) to Asheville’s 12. The Gnats six unearned runs allowed is tied for best in the League.
Offensive Explosion: Over their four games in Augusta, the Gnats scored 41 runs, 10.25 runs per game. In their first 12 games of the year, Savannah had scored 45 runs, an average of 3.75 runs per game. Savannah is 10-1 when scoring four or more runs and 0-5 when scoring three runs or fewer.
Top of the Charts: Gnats pitching leads the SAL with a 2.66 ERA (42 ER/142 IP). Savannah has allowed the fewest runs (48) and hits (114) in the SAL. Savannah’s six wild pitches are the fewest in the league.