SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
SAVANNAH 4, GREENSBORO 3 (11) (Box)
SAVANNAH LEADS 2-1
You just can't keep a good Gnat down, I guess. All year, Savannah has found a way to just win games. They have a pretty good staff mind you, helped out by the offense supressing Historic Grayson Stadium. But even after two of their best hitters (Vaughn, Shields) and their best pitcher (Peavey) were promoted, they kept finding ways to win with a suboptimal line-up and a rotation full of fringy prospects. Last night was a classic Savannah win: Good enough pitching, a scrappy offense, and a few unlikely heroes mixed in with a dash of late inning drama. RHP Taylor Whitenton was on the mound for Savnnah and he pitched a strong 6+, striking out 8. He was pulled in the seventh after surrendering an RBI double that gave Greensboro a 3-2 lead, but LHP Adam Kolarek limited the damage to just the one run. Savannah tied it up in the bottom half of the innings as unlikely hero number one, Rafael Fernandez, doubled in Darrell Ceciliani (after a failed bunt, of course. It's an org thing.)
Savannah's pen ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth, as Kolarek allowed a pair of hits to put runners on the corners with one out, but a liner to short and an innocent 4-3 groundout ended the threat. Savannah loaded the bases their half of the eighth, but SS Wilfredo Tovar meekly popped out, as the game seemed destined to extras, and to extras it would go. Savannah would load the bases again in the eleventh, after a one out intentional walk to Fernandez. The Grasshoppers dodged bullet #1, getting C Blake Forsythe to pop one up, but unlikely hero #2, 1B Joe Bonfe, laced one into right for the game winnner, his third hit of the contest. Savannah takes the field tonight just one game away from their first South Atlantic League title since 1996, and their first as a Mets affiliate.
- CF Darrell Ceciliani: 3-4, 2 R, 2 BB, K, E (3); Yes, that is his third error of the playoffs. Luckily the bat more than made up for it
- 3B Aderlin Rodriguez: 0-4, 2 K, HBP
- SS Wilfredo Tovar: 1-6
- C Blake Forsythe: 0-5, BB, 3 K
- DH Albert Cordero: 2-4, 2B, R
- 1B Joe Bonfe: 3-6, 2B, R, RBI, 2 K, 2 SB (3); STAR OF THE NIGHT~!
- RHP Taylor Whitenton: 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 8 K
- LHP Chase Huchingson: W, 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K; Bounced back well since getting lit up in his first playoff appearance.