Rome Slams Augusta 9-4 in Series Finale
NORTH AUGUSTA, SC - The Rome lineup ripped 12 hits, 6 for extra bases, in a 9-4 romp against rival Augusta on Friday night. The victory put Rome back at the .500 mark and within one game of Southern Division leader Charleston as the season's first half reaches the back stretch.
After Augusta had taken a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning the Braves answered with an RBI double from Henry Quintero, scoring Griffin Benson and tying it up 1-1 in the 2nd. The Braves took their first lead of the game in the 4th on an RBI double by Derian Cruz. Augusta quickly tied it 2-2 with an unearned run off Rome starter LHP Gabriel Noguera, who was solid despite some issues with walks.
Still tied 2-2 in the 5th, Rome grabbed the lead on a solo homerun out to right from Greg Cullen, his third dinger of the season. The Braves broke it open in a five run 6th inning as they sent 10 batters to the plate against an overmatched GreenJackets pitching staff. Shortstop Carlos Paraguate shot a two run double to the wall in center to make it 5-2. Cullen drove a single into left to bring in another run and Logan Brown shot a ball into center for a two run single, putting Rome up 8-2 in the 6th. The Braves added their final run in the 7th inning on an RBI triple by Cruz.
Down 9-2, Augusta mustered single runs in rallies in the 7th and 9th innings. The 9-4 triumph gave the Braves a series win with three victories in four games versus Augusta at SRP Park. Rome leaped over both Augusta and Lexington in the division standings, sending them from 4th to 2nd place. Asheville defeated Charleston Friday night which puts Rome only 1 game out of 1st place.
Fresh off his South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors, Cullen went 2-5 with a homer and two RBI on Friday night. Quintero was 3-4 with a double and was also hit by a pitch. Cruz was 2-4 with a double, triple and a walk. Brown was 2-5 with two RBI. Noguera got the win, going 5 innings, allowing two runs, both of which were unearned. He gave up three hits and walked four with five strikeouts.
At 3:24 it was the longest game Rome has played this season. The Braves will return to SRP Park next month to close out the first half of the schedule.
Rome returns home and opens a four game series with the Asheville Tourists on Saturday evening at State Mutual Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm. Rome will start RHP Jose Olague (4-4, 3.38). Asheville has not announced their starting pitcher for the game.
Rome Braves (24-24): 9 R 12 H 2 E
Augusta GreenJackets (23-24): 4 R 9 H 0 E
W: Gabriel Noguera (2-1)
L: Jesus Ozoria (0-3)
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