Rome Takes Opener 4-3 over Drive

Braves hold off late Greenville rally

By Rome Braves | May 9, 2019 7:18 AM

ROME, GA - The Braves played their first home game in 10 days on Wednesday evening and were able to complete a come-from-behind win 4-3 against the visiting Greenville Drive. Trey Harris once again was integral in his club's success, tying the game in the 5th inning on a two run single and possibly saving it in the 9th on a diving catch in right-center field to preserve the narrow margin.

Braves starter RHP Alan Rangel got the baseball and wasn't at his best, but battled through to give his team a chance. Despite struggling with command, Rangel managed to strand three in the 1st inning, allowing only one run to score. The leadoff man reached base against him in every inning but one. The Mexican right-hander surrendered a two run triple to Drive slugger Jordan Wren in the 3rd which gave Greenville a 3-1 lead. Further damage was prevented as second baseman Greg Cullen cut down Wren at the plate on a fielder's choice and Ricardo Rodriguez later caught a runner on an attempted steal. Rangel scattered seven hits and departed after 5 innings with Rome trialing by a pair of runs.

They didn't trail for long.

Showing uncommon patience at the plate, the first five Rome hitters all reached base in the 5th inning, three of them on walks. With the bases loaded and nobody out Harris ripped a single up the middle off Drive LHP reliever Angel Padron, tying the game 3-3. Logan Brown followed with a walk to again load up the bags. Griffin Benson hit a sharp ball to second which turned into a 4-6-3 double play, quelling the rally but allowing the go-ahead run to score and giving Rome a 4-3 advantage that the bullpen would ultimately hold.

Rome RHP Victor Vodnik threw 3 scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing only one hit. Closer RHP Lukas Young then entered for an eventful 9th inning. With runners at first and second and one out Greenville's Cole Brannen shot a line drive into right-center. Harris gave chase and made a full-extension diving catch to take away the potential game-tying hit. Young induced a groundout from the next batter and Rome had its victory. The save was Young's fifth of the season.

Benson finished the night going 2-4 with two doubles. Dean was 0-1 with three walks and a run scored. Andrew Moritz was 2-4 with a double. Cullen had another solid night at the plate, going 1-2 with two walks and a run scored. Harris was 1-4 with two RBI. Rangel pitched 5 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He walked three and did not record a strikeout.

The Braves and Drive continue their three game series on Thursday morning in an Education Day game at State Mutual Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 10:30 am. Rome will start LHP Gabriel Noguera (0-1, 5.63) while Greenville will counter with RHP Thaddeus Ward (1-2, 3.60).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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