Savannah 5, Kannapolis 0
Savannah starter Luis Cessa led a dominant pitching performance as the Sand Gnats blanked the host Intimidators 5-0 on Saturday night and moved into a tie for first place in the Class A South Atlantic League’s South Division.
Cessa (3-2) limited Kannapolis (19-34) to two hits over 7 2/3 innings with no walks and 10 strikeouts. Tim Petersen relieved in the eighth and the Intimidators nearly scored, then Tyler Vanderheiden completed the shutout with a single and three strikeouts in the ninth.
Savannah (33-22) is tied with the Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs (32-21) for the division lead.
Yucary De La Cruz doubled to open the third inning and went to third on Maikis De La Cruz’s single. Brandon Nimmo delivered an RBI double to left that plated Yucary and advanced Maikis to third. Maikis De La Cruz scored on Kannapolis starter Brandon Brennan’s wild pitch, with Nimmo moving to third base. Nimmo scored on another Brennan wild pitch for 4-0 Sand Gnats.
The advantage was 5-0 in the seventh on Eudy Pina’s leadoff double, Frenzels single and Phillip Evans’ sacrifice fly. Yucary De La Cruz singled to right, where outfielder Jason Coats threw to third baseman Eric Grabe to peg Frenzel at third.
Cessa had just recorded his 10th strikeout for two outs in the eighth when Peterson relieved him. Grabe singled and stole second. When Kale Kiser singled to right, outfielder Pina threw out Grabe at the plate and preserved the shutout.
Brandon Nimmo: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R
Kevin Plawecki: 2-for-4, 1 R
Cole Frenzel: 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Yucary De La Cruz: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 R
Luis Cessa: 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 10 K
Tim Peterson: 0.1 IP, 2 H
Tyler Vanderheiden: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K