ROME, GA - The final score was lopsided on Sunday, but 20-year-old Oliver Pascual showed his value at the plate at State Mutual Stadium. The switch-hitter ripped a pair of hits and drove in a run in Columbia's 16-4 loss to the Braves in Rome. Pascual is now hitting .333 in four games as a Firefly.
Columbia (68-69) jumped ahead 2-0 with a pair of runs in the second frame. Dash Winningham and Brandon Brosher each walked to start the inning and then Dan Rizzie slashed a double off the left-field wall. The hit scored Winningham and Brosher pulled into third. Later in the inning, Tucker Davidson buzzed a fastball to the back stop. The wild pitch allowed Brosher to score.
Rome's (73-65) offensive attack began in the home half of the second. The six-run frame was highlighted by Jordan Rodger's grand slam. Fireflies' starter Marty Anderson (L, 0-5) lasted just 1.2 innings.
The Braves stretched their lead to 14-2 with another big inning. This time, the home team scored eight runs in the fourth. Two runs were already in and the bases were loaded when Riley Delgado stepped to the dish. His double cleared the bases. The next hitter, Isranel Wilson, smashed a two-run home run just inside the right-field foul pole. The eight runs tied the most allowed in a single frame by Columbia this season.
Rome added two more scores in the fifth, but the Fireflies stopped the bleeding with a run in the top of the sixth. Brosher singled and moved into scoring position after Reed Gamache's base hit (one of two for Gamache on Sunday). Pascual ripped a base hit off of reliever Troy Conyers (W, 4-0) into the right-center field alley which scored Brosher.
Quinn Brodey led the eighth inning off with a triple into deep centerfield. Winningham knocked him in moments later. That was the slugger's 70th RBI of the season, surpassing his 2016 RBI total.
Columbia concludes the 2017 season with a Labor Day battle against Rome. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Monday and right-hander Justin Brantley (2-3, 5.18) makes his ninth start of the season. He faces Braves righty Bryse Wilson (10-7, 2.55).
You can listen to the action on ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 12:45 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.