Braves Swat Fireflies 8-1 on Tuesday Afternoon
ROME, GA - The Rome Braves evened their three game series against the Columbia Fireflies at one game apiece on Tuesday following an 8-1 victory that wasn't as lopsided as the final score would have you believe.
Entering the Bottom of the 8th inning, Rome and Columbia were locked in a fierce pitcher's duel and tied 1-1. The Braves scored an unearned run on a double by Carlos Paraguate in the 2nd inning. Columbia answered with a run in the 4th on a single by Hayden Senger. Both starting pitchers fared well as Rome's Jasseel De La Cruz and Fireflies hurler Jose Butto each turned in a solid performance.
It was in the decisive 8th inning that the Rome offense imposed its collective will on the Columbia bullpen, scoring 7 runs and sending 13 hitters to the plate in the frame. Paraguate opened the inning with a double off the centerfield wall. Andrew Moritz brought him home with a single to provide the eventual winning run. Greg Cullen added an RBI single and Griffin Benson provided the big blow with a two run double to make it 6-1. Rome scored their final two tallies on a Braulio Vasquez single and a Paraguate sacrifice fly. Moritz reached base twice in the inning with a single and a walk. The Fireflies were forced to use three relievers to acquire three outs.
The carnage left the game lopsided and gave the Braves a crucial win and a chance to take the series on Wednesday.
De La Cruz completed 5 innings, allowing one run on three hits. He struck out six and walked two. Montilla was rewarded with the win for throwing 3 shutout innings in relief. LHP Jake Higginbotham pitched a scoreless 9th inning to end the game.
The series finale between Rome and Columbia is Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm at State Mutual Stadium. Rome will start RHP Jose Olague and Columbia will put RHP Jaison Vilera on the bump.
Rome (5-7): 8 R 9 H 1 E
Columbia (5-7): 1 R 5 H 1 E
W: Jose Montilla (1-0)
L: Chris Viall (0-1)
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