Rangel, Venter Lead Rome to 4-0 Win over Columbia
COLUMBIA, SC - Rome put an end to several pesky losing streaks with a satisfying 4-0 shutout victory against the Columbia Fireflies on Saturday evening. The win was Rome's first of the series and gives them a chance to split the four game set on Sunday. It also ends a six game losing streak for Rome at Segra Park and a six game losing streak to Columbia overall which dated back to May 19th.
Rome got a solid start from RHP Alan Rangel who spun 6 scoreless innings and earned his 10th victory of the season. Lefty reliever Jake Higginbotham locked down the Fireflies over 3 frames to get his 4th save of the season.
The offense was stagnant until the 6th when they paired a couple timely hits with some Columbia mistakes. Michael Harris reached on a fielding error and advanced to third base on a single by Greg Cullen. Bryce Ball stepped in and delivered an RBI hit into center, breaking the scoreless tie and putting Rome on the board. Hagen Owenby followed with a force-out, as Fireflies shortstop Ronny Mauricio tried to turn two but threw wide of first base and allowed a second run to score in the inning.
Rome padded their lead with a two out, two run homer from Brendan Venter into the left field bleachers. It was his 5th bomb of the season and gave Rome a 4-0 advantage. Higginbotham struck out two in the Bottom of the 9th to ice it and the Braves had the win.
Venter finished the night 2-4 with a homer, double and two RBI. Cullen was 2-4 with a run scored. Ball was 1-4 with an RBI.
Rangel went 6 innings, allowing no runs and only one hit. He struck out five and walked four. Higginbotham threw 3 innings and allowed no runs while surrendering three hits. He struck out three and walked no one.
Rome and Columbia conclude their four game series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch of Game 4 from Segra Park is scheduled for 5:05 pm. The Braves will start LHP Mitch Stallings who will be making his Rome debut. Columbia is expected to start RHP Colin Holderman (3-1, 3.59).
Rome Braves (27-28, 57-67) 4 R 6 H 1 E
Columbia Fireflies (25-30, 49-72) 0 R 4 H 2 E
W: Alan Rangel (10-7)
L: Daison Acosta (1-3)
S: Jake Higginbotham (4)
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