ROME, GA - One day after losing a three run lead the Rome Braves returned the favor in an exciting 4-3 come-from-behind win over the visiting Columbia Fireflies on Saturday evening. Entering the Bottom of the 6th Rome trailed 3-0 but rallied for four runs on five hits to take
ROME, GA - One day after losing a three run lead the Rome Braves returned the favor in an exciting 4-3 come-from-behind win over the visiting Columbia Fireflies on Saturday evening. Entering the Bottom of the 6th Rome trailed 3-0 but rallied for four runs on five hits to take the lead. The bullpen held on late and the Braves evened the series with a defeat of their division rivals.
Rome and Columbia each received solid starting pitching and the game stayed scoreless into the 5th inning. The Fireflies would breakthrough against Rome lefty Mitch Stallings for a run in the 5th and two more in the 6th inning, building a 3-0 lead.
Held off the board early despite having several run-scoring opportunities, the Braves offense found its footing in the 6th. Justin Dean opened the frame with a single and Bryce Ball followed with a knock into right field. With runners on the corners, a wild pitch sent Dean racing home, making it 3-1. After a Shea Langeliers single the tying run was on base. Michael Harris stepped in and shot a double into deep left. The ball got over the head of Chandler Avant and allowed two runs to score to tie it up at 3-3. Brendan Venter followed two batters later and delivered an opposite-field RBI single to give Rome its first lead of the night at 4-3.
Columbia threatened in the 8th inning and loaded the bases with two outs. Rome reliever RHP Luis Mora entered and induced a fly ball to deep left off the bat of Avant. Mora then enjoyed a 1-2-3 9th inning to complete the save.
The win coupled with an Asheville loss reduces Rome's deficit in the Southern Division race to three with nine games remaining in the regular season.
Rehabbing big-leaguers Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley each reached base in the game. Riley went 1-3 and Swanson was 0-3 with a walk.
Dean finished the game 2-3 with a walk and a stolen base. His 43 steals this season leads the South Atlantic League. Venter was 2-3 with a double and an RBI. Harris was 1-4 with a double and two RBI plus a stolen base. Greg Cullen was 1-3 with a walk.
Stallings earned the win, throwing 6 innings and allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked one.
Rome and Columbia conclude their three game series on Sunday afternoon at State Mutual Stadium. First pitch of Game 3 is scheduled for 2 pm. Rome is expected to start RHP William Woods (1-4, 3.43) while Columbia starts RHP Christian James (3-9, 4.71).