The Savannah Sand Gnats clinched the South Atlantic League Championship tonight with a 2-0 win over the Hagerstown Suns.
Neither team scored until the bottom of 4th, when the Sand Gnats tagged Suns' starter Dakota Bacus for 2 runs. Brandon Nimmo led the inning off with a walk, before Maikis De La Cruz flew out. With one out, Bacus walked Dilson Herrera and Cole Frenzel to load the bases for Stefan Sabol. Sabol promptly hit a 2-run double to give the Sand Gnats the lead.
That was Bacus' final inning, as he lasted 4 innings with 2 runs on 2 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Sand Gnats' starter Steven Matz dominated the Suns. Over 5.2 frames, the left-hander fanned 9 batters while scattering 4 hits.
The Suns failed to take advantage of several opportunities against Matz, including with the bases loaded and no outs in the 3rd. Matz worked through that inning with back-to-back strikeouts of Shawn Pleffner and Wander Ramos before Mike McQuillan lined out to end the frame. The Suns managed 6 hits on the night, 3 of which came from Stephen Perez in a 3 for 3 performance.
Buck Wheeler earned the save to clinch it for the Sand Gnats. This is their first SAL Championship since 1996.