COLUMBIA, SC - Rome lost a three run lead and then dropped their fourth straight game on Monday night in a 7-4 setback against divisional rival Columbia.
After Logan Brown contributed a pair of run-scoring hits and four RBI the Braves were staked to a 4-1 lead in the 5th inning. But sloppy defense and some timely hitting by Columbia allowed the Fireflies to get back in the game. In the Bottom of the 5th the Fireflies took advantage of defensive miscues by the Rome infield to add two runs and cut the Braves lead to 4-3.
After the Braves were unable to convert a leadoff double into a run in the top of the 7th they lost the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff walk started the trouble and was followed by a bunt single. With two on and nobody out Columbia DH Walter Rasquin delivered a game-winning two run triple to the wall in centerfield. Another run came in on a sacrifice fly.
Rome threatened with a rally in the 9th inning on consecutive two out hits from Justin Dean and Andrew Moritz. The Braves got the tying run to the plate but did not score.
Brown was 2-4 with four RBI. Moritz finished the night 3-4, Dean went 2-5 with a double and Greg Cullen reached base on three occasions. The top six hitters in Rome's lineup are all hitting above .300 for the season.
Odalvi Javier threw 4 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Javier struck out five and walked a pair. Rangel suffered the loss after he was unable to hold the lead he inherited in the 5th inning. Kurt Hoekstra and Lukas Young both appeared in late-inning relief and did not allow any earned runs.
The Braves continue their series vs Columbia on Tuesday morning. First pitch is scheduled for 11:05 am at Segra Park. Rome puts RHP Nolan Kingham on the mound. Columbia will start RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.