ROME, GA - The new-look Rome lineup continued to sizzle on Monday evening as the Braves defeated Charleston 12-3 in the opening game of a three game series at State Mutual Stadium. The win was Rome's third straight overall and put the team above .500 in the second half with a 3-2 record.
Leading the way on Monday night was first-baseman Griffin Benson who mashed three hits, including a long homer out to right field, and collected 6 RBI.
Rome set the tone for the blowout from the beginning, scoring five runs in the 1st inning and three more in the 2nd for an 8-0 lead. The Braves got RBI hits from Braden Shewmake, Shea Langeliers, Griffin Benson, Henry Quintero and Ariel Montesino in the 1st. Langeliers and Benson both doubled while Quintero hit a triple in the frame.
In the 2nd inning Benson unloaded on a 3-0 pitch out to deep right for a three run homer off Charleston starter RHP Alexander Vizcaino, making the score 8-0. It was Benson's 7th longball of the season.
The RiverDogs got two back in the 3rd and Rome added a sacrifice fly from Benson in the 4th inning to go up 9-2. Rome scored three more runs in the 8th inning thanks to a Benson single, another Quintero triple and an RBI single from Darling Florentino.
Making his first start at State Mutual Stadium this season, RHP Victor Vodnik was solid on the mound for Rome while receiving a no-decision. He went 4 innings and allowed two runs on six hits, striking out five and walking two. Reliever LHP Jake Higginbotham was excellent out of the bullpen. The southpaw threw 3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and no walks. He struck out three and earned the win.
Benson finished his night going 3-3 with a homerun, double, walk and 6 RBI. Shewmake was 3-5 with two doubles, an RBI and four runs scored. Langeliers was 1-3 with a double, RBI, two walks and two runs scored. Quintero was 2-4 with two triples, a walk, two RBI and two runs scored.
As a team Rome ripped 15 hits in the game, including nine for extra bases.
Rome and Charleston continue their three game series on Tuesday evening. First pitch from State Mutual Stadium is slated for 7 pm. Rome will start RHP Jose Olague (5-5, 3.36) while Charleston will counter with RHP Luis Gil (2-3, 1.81).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.