Columbia Ends Rome Winning Streak with 9-8 Extra Inning Victory
ROME, GA - The Fireflies won a slugfest on Sunday afternoon against the Rome Braves, ending the home team's season-best winning streak at five games.
Rome hit four homeruns, including a dramatic two run shot by Trey Harris to tie it up 8-8 in the Bottom of the 9th inning, but it wasn't quite enough as Columbia got their first win of the series.
The two teams got off to a fast start, with each scoring four runs within the first two innings. Fireflies first baseman Chase Chambers hit a two run homer off Rome starter LHP Gabriel Noguera in the 1st inning. Rome answered with a two run homer off the bat of Greg Cullen into the visitor's bullpen in right-center field. A third run scored on a sacrifice fly from Brendan Venter. Columbia regained the lead quickly with two runs in the Top of the 2nd inning and Rome tied it up 4-4 in the bottom half on an Ariel Montesino homer out to left.
Still knotted up at 4-4 in the 4th inning the Fireflies offense got back to work against Nogeura. Columbia broke the tie on a solo homer from Hayden Senger and Mark Vientos drove in another run on an RBI double. The Braves rallied once again, scoring a run on a double-play grounder in the 5th inning and getting a solo homer from Venter to tie it 6-6 in the 6th.
Columbia got two unearned runs and took an 8-6 lead into the Bottom of the 9th inning. With two outs Cullen walked. Harris came up and appeared to pop-out in foul territory on a full count pitch but the ball was dropped by Chambers just in front of the Columbia dugout. Given a reprieve, Harris sent the very next pitch sailing over the left field fence for the game-tying homer. Rome would not score again however, and the Fireflies used an unearned run in the 10th inning to defeat the Braves in extra innings. Gerson Molina provided the winning RBI hit.
At 3:23 it was the longest game Rome has played this season. Despite the loss Rome mashed 10 hits, giving them double-digit hits for the sixth consecutive game. The four homeruns is a new single-game high for this season.
Cullen was 2-4 with a homer and a walk. Montesino was 1-4 with a homer and a walk. Harris finished 1-4 with a homerun and was also hit by a pitch. Venter went 1-3 with a homer, sacrifice fly and a walk. Cullen, Harris, and Venter all had two RBI. Reliever RHP Jose Montilla received the loss but did not surrender an earned run. Noguera went 5 innings and allowed six runs on 10 hits. He struck out two and walked two.
Rome and Columbia conclude their four game series on Monday afternoon at State Mutual Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm. Rome will start RHP Jose Olague (4-3, 3.20) while Columbia puts RHP Colin Holderman (3-0, 1.76) on the mound.
Rome Braves (21-22): 8 R 10 H 2 E
Columbia Fireflies (16-27): 9 R 14 H 2 E
W: Alan Rangel (3-2)
L: Jose Butto (0-5)
S: Victor Vodnik (1)
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