ROME, GA - Rome opened its brief three game homestand against Lexington with a 4-3 victory on Monday night at State Mutual Stadium. Rome reliever RHP Ryan Shetter stranded the tying run at third base in the 9th inning to secure the save and give the Braves the win in the series opener.
The Rome Braves offense attacked early and often against Lexington starter RHP Zach Haake, scoring in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd innings to build a 4-1 lead. In the 1st the Braves got a double from leadoff man Justin Dean. He soon scored on an RBI single by Shea Langeliers.
In the 2nd Rome added another tally on an Ariel Montesino groundout which scored Jose Bermudez.
Rome's final rally came in the 3rd and again Dean and Langeliers were at the center of it. In one of the strangest plays of the season to date, Dean reached on an infield single and never stopped. The throw from short got away and allowed him to take second base. Lexington was slow to react and Dean kept advancing until he finally scored on the play. Legends catcher Freddy Fermin abandoned his post at the plate which allowed Dean to score. After a Braulio Vasquez single Langeliers followed with a laser beam to the wall in center field for an RBI double, making it 4-1 in favor of the Braves.
Rome starter LHP Gabriel Noguera was excellent for Rome once again. He went 6.2 innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out eight, one shy of his career high total, and walked three. He departed with two runners on base in the 7th and Shetter took it the rest of the way. Noguera earned his fourth win of the year for his efforts. Shetter walked a man in the 9th and a steal and throwing error pushed the tying run to third. He induced a groundout to Montesino at short to end the game and grab his second save of the season.
Dean went 2-4 with a double and scored two runs. Langeliers was 2-4 with a double and two RBI. Jose Bermudez was 3-3 and scored a run. Montesino was 0-2 with a walk, an RBI and a stolen base.
Rome and Lexington continue their three game series on Tuesday evening. Game 2 is scheduled for 7 pm from State Mutual Stadium. Rome will start RHP Jose Olague (8-6, 3.15) while Lexington will start RHP Jon Heasley (7-4, 2.96).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.