Sand Gnats snap Smith’s scoreless streak - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Sand Gnats snap Smith’s scoreless streak

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (DOGS) – Charleston RiverDogs southpaw Caleb Smith extended his scoreless innings streak to 23.1 innings pitched, but the Savannah Sand Gnats ended the streak and picked up a 1-0 win on Saturday evening in front of 5,056 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.

The RiverDogs are now 18-16 this season while the Sand Gnats climb to 24-9. Smith’s streak of 23.1 consecutive scoreless innings is the sixth-best streak in Charleston’s ten seasons as a New York Yankees affiliate.

Over the first five innings, Smith and Savannah’s John Gant were engaged in a scoreless pitchers’ duel. Charleston loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning but did not score. Savannah had runners on the corners in the fourth before a pair of fly outs closed the scoring threat. Smith also picked off three runners in the five shutout innings that opened his outing.

The Sand Gnats took a 1-0 lead in the sixth to stop Smith’s streak. Smith was ushered out of the contest after three straight walks. Giovanny Gallegos pitched with the bases loaded against Stefan Sabol, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Gavin Cecchini.

Cecchini’s run ended the scoreless stretch for Smith, who walked Cecchini to open the inning and was charged with the run. Smith’s five scoreless innings to begin Saturday’s game are added to his four recent shutout starts to reach his final total of 23.1 innings pitched in the streak. The streak began after Smith gave up three runs to the Augusta GreenJackets at home on April 13.

Gant pitched a scoreless sixth inning before the Sand Gnats bullpen finished Savannah’s shutout win. Dawrin Frias stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the seventh and nearly allowed a go-ahead home run in the eighth, but Kale Sumner’s fly ball to left field was caught in front of the wall. Pinch-hitter John Murphy produced a two-out single that extended the ninth inning before Robert Coles locked down the save with a game-ending strikeout.

Gant earned the victory, improving to 4-1 this season. Smith is 3-2 after being charged with the loss. Coles now has seven saves in as many chances.

BALLPARK FUN: The first 1,000 fans through the gates received a Tony the Peanut Man singing bobblehead, sponsored by WCSC Channel 5. Scores of citizens from Goose Creek enjoyed an evening at The Joe on Goose Creek Night. Following the close-knit contest, all the children in attendance had the opportunity to run around the bases, which is a staple of all Saturday home games for the RiverDogs.

COMING UP: Game two of this four-game series is scheduled for 5:05pm on Sunday with RiverDogs RHP Brady Lail (4-1, 3.98 ERA) pitching against Sand Gnats RHP Chris Flexen (1-3, 7.50 ERA). Gildan’s “Pampering in the Park” is a perfect Mother’s Day treat with a mini-massage or mini-manicure for moms while their kids can decorate a t-shirt for them. It is also another CCPRC and Crews Subaru Kids Club Sunday, Seersucker Sunday, and celebrity “Smokin’ Chef” John Schumacher will be stationed at the RiverDogs’ new meat smoker to serve Smoked Pork Loin Sliders with a Peach Chutney. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.

Box Score: http://atmilb.com/1ohxYh0

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