ROME, GA - The Rome Braves captured their fourth consecutive win by bludgeoning the Columbia Fireflies 11-3 in a lopsided victory on Friday night, extending both the team's winning streak and recent offensive surge.
Welcoming another Southern Division opponent to town the Rome Braves immediately jumped Columbia for three runs on four hits in the 1st inning. Justin Dean took the first pitch from Columbia starter RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson into left for a single, then stole second base. He scored on an RBI triple by Greg Cullen into left center. Trey Harris followed with an RBI single and eventually scored on a two out double by Griffin Benson. Rome added an unearned run in the 3rd inning thanks to a throwing error and led the game 4-0.
Columbia began to claw back into it against Rome hurler RHP Odalvi Javier, getting a run across in the 4th inning on a double-play grounder. The Fireflies pulled to within one at 4-3 on a towering homer by Juan Uriarte in the 5th. That's when Rome pushed back.
The first six Braves batters reached base in the Bottom of the 5th inning and all of them eventually scored. Ricardo Rodriguez and Cullen opened the frame with singles. Rome then got three consecutive doubles from Harris, Logan Brown and Benson, making the score 8-3. Dean came up and ripped a two run double into deep left to score two more runs and Cullen finished the scoring with another single, his second hit of the inning. In total, the Braves scored seven runs on seven hits during the 5th inning rally and sent 12 men to the plate.
Javier had another quality outing and enjoyed his longest start of the season en route to earning the win. He went 7 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out six and walked only one. LHP reliever Dilmer Mejia pitched the final two innings and was not scored upon. He struck out one, walked none, and allowed a hit.
Rome's four game winning streak matches the team's season-high set previously from May 2nd-5th when they won four straight on the road between Greensboro and Lakewood.
The Braves offense has now cranked out at least 11 hits in four consecutive games. During the current winning streak they have outscored their opponents 31-10. The team has not committed an error. Friday's 11 runs matches Rome's single game high, which was set last Sunday May 12th at Segra Park when Rome defeated Columbia 11-0.
Cullen finished his night 4-4 with a double, triple and a walk. He drove in two runs. Dean went 2-3 with a double, two walks, two RBI and a stolen base. Benson was 3-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Harris was 2-5 with a double and two RBI. Rome had seven extra-base hits in the game including six doubles.
Rome and Columbia continue their series on Saturday evening at State Mutual Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm. Rome will start RHP Alan Rangel (2-2, 5.13) while Columbia puts RHP Jose Butto (0-4, 4.36) on the mound.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.