Big Fifth Innings Lead to Sweep of Asheville on Saturday
The Rome Braves (19-16) swept the Asheville Tourists (14-20) in Saturday afternoon's Beach Night doubleheader at State Mutual Stadium. Rome knocked off Asheville 6-2 in Game 1 before defeating the Tourists 5-2 in the nightcap. The two wins clinched the series outright for the Braves, who have won four of this week's five High-A East South matchups.
Game 1, Rome wins 6-2
Following a 1:33 weather delay and a scoreless first two innings, Rome found themselves on the scoreboard first in Game 1. The Braves scored on a double steal in the bottom of the third inning when Cody Milligan stole second. Andrew Moritz came home when the catcher threw to second base, putting the R-Braves out in front by one run. Rome doubled their lead the following inning when Jesse Franklin V connected on his team-leading fifth home run of the season, a solo blast that landed on Home Run Hill in right field. The Tourists battled back to tie it in the fifth, but the Braves had a quick response. Rome plated four runs the next half-inning to take a 6-2 lead. A Kevin Josephina double brought in Andrew Moritz and Cody Milligan, and then Bryce Ball singled to score Riley Delgado. Josephina touched home plate following a Logan Brown groundout later in the inning, and the defense held on in the final two innings to preserve the four-run victory.
Saturday marked the home debut of 2020 draft pick Spencer Strider, who allowed two earned runs on six hits and two walks in 4.2 IP. Strider tallied four strikeouts. Zach Daniels (1.1IP, 0R) picked up the win, evening his season record to 1-1. Kasey Kalich pitched the final inning, surrendering two hits.
Game 2, Rome wins 5-2
The second game appeared to be all-Asheville for much of the contest. The visiting Tourists raced out to a 2-0 advantage in the first inning and held onto that lead until late in the game. However, it was the fifth inning again that propelled Rome to a much-needed victory. The Braves scored five runs in the fifth after managing just a handful of baserunners in the first four innings. A two-out bases-loaded walk put Rome on the board, as Rusber Estrada got aboard and scored Andrew Moritz from third base. In the next at-bat Brett Langhorne drove a pitch to the left-center gap, resulting in a bases-clearing three-run double to give the Braves their first lead of the game. Langhorne came home soon after, as Garrett Saunders recorded his second RBI of the season on a soft line drive to right field to increase Rome's lead to three. Rome pitching, which had settled in following the first inning, shut down the Asheville attack in the last two innings to preserve the come-from-behind triumph.
Alan Rangel picked up his best performance of the season on Beach Night. The right-hander threw five innings of two-run baseball and struck out eight Tourist batters. Marrick Crouse earned the save, striking out two and giving up one hit in the final two innings.
Multiple Rome Braves had a day to remember at the plate. Kevin Josephina was 3-for-6 between the two games, finishing with two runs batted in and one run scored. The veteran infielder has been hitting as well as anybody in the league as of late and now boasts a .303 batting average. Andrew Moritz was 4-for-6 on the day with three runs scored. The outfielder from UNC Greensboro has struggled mightily at the plate this season but saw his average rise from .207 to .239 after his efforts on Saturday. Finally, Brett Langhorne delivered the game-winning hit in Game 2 and should be recognized following a 2-for-3, 3 RBI, one run outing.
Though Rome has already won the series against Asheville, the Braves still have plenty to play for in tomorrow's series finale versus the Tourists. Rome sits 3.5 games behind division-leading Bowling Green in the High-A East South and must stay hot to stick with the Hot Rods.
Sunday's game against Asheville will begin at 2 p.m. EST at State Mutual Stadium. The daily ticket offer is the Family Fun Day Pack, which includes four tickets, four hats, four hamburgers, four sodas, and four popcorns ($100 value) for just $50. For ticketing information, visit RomeBraves.com/Tickets.
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Rome Braves at the plate
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High-A East League Stories from June 12, 2021
- Double Header Results in Two More Road Losses - Asheville Tourists
- Crawdads Battle Back But Fall in 10th - Hickory Crawdads
- Big Fifth Innings Lead to Sweep of Asheville on Saturday - Rome Braves
- Drive Races Ahead in Series as Dash Fall 3-2 - Winston-Salem Dash
- Severino Starts and Departs Early as Gades Win - Hudson Valley Renegades
- Brannen's Two-Run Inside-the-Park Home Run Lifts Drive to 3-2 Win - Greenville Drive
- Alvarez's Dramatic HR Not Enough, BKLYN Falls 5-4 - Brooklyn Cyclones
- Hot Rods Game Notes - Bowling Green Hot Rods
- E.P. Reese Joins Dash - Winston-Salem Dash
- Winston-Salem Dash Game Notes (June 12) - Winston-Salem Dash
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