KANNAPOLIS, NC - The Rome offense showed up in a big way on Sunday evening, smacking four homeruns and smacking down the Kannapolis pitching staff in a 9-3 Braves win. Griffin Benson hit two homers and drove in four runs as Rome salvaged the final game of the series. The Braves finished their road trip with three wins and three losses, leaving them with a share of 1st place.
In addition to Benson's shots Rome got homers from Brendan Venter and Jose Bermudez and had 14 total hits in the game. Rome starter RHP Alan Rangel was strong throughout the evening and earned the win, tying him with Jose Olague for the team lead in victories.
With Kannapolis up 1-0 in the 4th inning Benson connected for a two run shot out to right to flip the margin and give the Braves a one run lead. Rome would then put up big damage in the 5th inning against the Intimidators staff. Jose Bermudez led off the frame with a solo homer, his first long ball as a Rome Brave and his first as a pro since 2017 with the GCL Braves. After a Shea Langeliers RBI single, Benson unloaded another two run bomb over the right field fence and the visitors' bullpen. Brendan Venter followed two batters later and launched a two run homer out to left, capping the carnage and making it 8-1 Rome.
Benson would triple and later score on an RBI groundout from Ricardo Rodriguez in the 9th inning to give the Braves their final run.
Rangel had his longest outing of the season, throwing 6.2 innings and allowing only one run on six hits. He struck out four and walked three.
Benson finished his evening 3-4 with two homers, a triple and four RBI. He hit three homeruns in the series and drove in seven runs. Langeliers was 2-5 with an RBI. Braden Shewmake was 2-5 with a stolen base. Bermudez went 2-5 with a homer and Venter was 2-4 with a homer, two RBI and was hit by a pitch. Justin Dean went 1-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Jeremy Fernandez was 1-5 with a triple.
Rome has concluded their road trip and now returns home to face the Lexington Legends for a brief three game series. Game 1 is scheduled for 7 pm Monday. Rome will start LHP Gabriel Noguera (3-4, 3.39). Lexington has not announced their starting pitcher for the series opener.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.