Then, on May 6, the Gnats swept the Greenville Drive, and began a furious 31-15 close to the first half, sealing Savannah's fifth first-half title in six years.
"Everything starting clicking at that point," manager Jose Leger said of the early-May sweep. "We just started playing better baseball. Guys just gained a lot of confidence. They just kept going and going."
On May 6, the Mets and Gnats made roster moves involving six players -- four pitchers and two third basemen.
At the hot corner, the Mets sent Pedro Perez back to Brooklyn and promoted their 2014 fourth-round pick, Eudor Garcia, to Savannah. Garcia collected three hits in his first game, and four in his second, on his way to a 8-for-13 stretch to help lead Savannah's sweep of Greenville.
Leger said Garcia's addition to the Savannah lineup made an immediate impact.
"The fact that we got Garcia helped a lot," Leger said. "He started swinging the bat amazingly."
Garcia's presence helped the Gnats' lineup, but his addition was not the only change.
Wuilmer Becerra, the Gnats' 20-year-old right fielder, caught fire in May. Heading to Greenville, Becerra was hitting .259/.310/.481 with five walks, 20 strikeouts and a .310 BABIP. In his final 42 games of the first half, beginning with Garcia's arrival, Becerra hit .303/.348/.479 with 10 walks (5.6 percent), 37 strikeouts (20.8 percent) and a .363 BABIP.
Leger was eager to praise the refinements that Becerra has made since Opening Day.
"He's confident at the plate. He's selecting better pitches," Leger said of Becerra. "At times you see, he makes mistakes, but the good thing is that he knows it. He admits it. ... He's learning the strike zone. He's learning how to be a better two-strike hitter. He never stops hustling. He's a hard worker."
Also in early May, Leger made crucial lineup decisions that helped his team's offense. In the first month of the season, Leger batted 26-year-old 2B/3B Jonathan Johnson in the No. 9 spot in the order every time he played. But when Johnson went on a tear in May (.375/.447/.500), Leger moved him to the leadoff spot.
Johnson finished the first half at fifth in the SAL in batting average (.315) and second in on-base percentage (.426). Shortstop Luis Guillorme, while playing slick defense up the middle, used a very mature approach to run a .370 on-base percentage.
Although the Gnats put together better baseball in May, they still trailed Greenville by five games entering a four-game series in Savannah on June 4. The Gnats responded with a sweep, outscoring Greenville 21-8 in the four games to pull within one of the Drive with 15 games to play. The sweep helped the Gnats earn the tiebreaker, as they held a held a head-to-head advantage over the Drive.
The Gnats and Drive battled it out, yet were still tied headed to the final day. However, since Savannah owned the tiebreaker, the Gnats needed only a win or a Greenville loss to clinch. Before the Gnats could even play their final game, Greenville lost its game, 9-3, which gave Savannah the title.
Guillorme had taken his phone with him into the batting cage while he and his Gnat teammates were getting ready for their game. They pulled up the radio feed for the end of the game, and at the final out, they had what Guillorme described as a "really small" celebration. The Savannah pitchers, doing their early work and throwing programs, came to join the position players for the party in the cage.
And then, already first half champions, the Gnats went out and beat the Augusta GreenJackets.
"It was really weird, especially at the end of the game," Guillorme said. "Me and JJ [Jonathan Johnson] were talking about it in between innings. It felt so weird knowing that we had already won something and we were still playing the game.
"I don't think there's any better feeling -- other than actually winning the whole thing right now."