Kevin Josephina's double scored Matt Gonzalez with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Rome Braves came back from a six-run deficit to beat the Lexington Legends 7-6 Thursday night in Rome.
With one out in the ninth, Gonzalez singled and came around to score on Josephina's line drive double to center field.
Lexington jumped out to the early lead with two runs in the second inning. Emmanuel Rivera led off with a single. He moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a ground out by Meibrys Viloria, and scored on a single by Amalani Fukofuka. Fukofuka stole second and third and came home on a ground out by Marten Gasparini.
The Legends increased their lead to 6-0 with four runs in the third. Khalil Lee led off with a single and stole second. After Gabriel Cancel walked, Kort Peterson singled, loading the bases. Lee scored as Joe Dudek grounded out to first, and Rivera doubled home another run. Peterson scored on a ground out by Viloria, and Rivera came home on a throwing error by first baseman Anthony Concepcion.
Rome began its comeback with a run in the third, and the Braves added two more in the sixth. Juan Yepez led off with a double and held second as Gonzalez bunted for a hit. After Josephina lined out to left field, Lucas Herbert walked, loading the bases. Two runs scored when Rivera, the third baseman, committed an error on a ball hit by Concepcion.
A three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth tied the game. Herbert, Tanner Murphy and Concepcion drew walks to start the inning. After Matt Wynne relieved Julio Pinto for the Legends, Randy Ventura struck out, but Marcus Mooney singled home two runs, and Concepcion scored as Mooney was caught between first and second. That tied the game at 6-6, and the Legends did not score in the top of the ninth, setting up the game winning run in the bottom half.
Jon Kennedy (3-0), who pitched the eighth and ninth innings for Rome, got the win.
Wynne (1-1) was the losing pitcher.
Game two of the four-game series will be played Friday night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.