KANNAPOLIS, NC - After three lead changes in the first four innings the Kannapolis Intimidators eventually took an advantage they would not lose in a 6-4 victory over the Rome Braves on Saturday evening.
There was plenty of early offense for both sides. Kannapolis scored two runs off Rome starting pitcher RHP Jose Olague in the first inning on consecutive RBI hits from Steele Walker and Bryce Bush. Rome got a run back in the second inning on a balk and took the lead in the third on a two run homer from Griffin Benson that sailed over the right field foul pole and over the visitors bullpen.
When Kannapolis answered with a run to tie it up 3-3, catcher Logan Brown responded with a solo homerun out to right to put Rome back on top 4-3. It would be the final tally of the game for the Braves. Kannapolis struck for two runs in the fourth inning and another in the eighth while holding Rome to one hit in the final five frames.
Kannapolis second baseman Lenyn Sosa was 4-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Intimidators starter RHP Davis Martin settled in after the homeruns to clear six innings and get the win. Olague was relieved in the fourth inning by LHP Jake Higginbotham who had a strong debut appearance. The Buford, Georgia native threw 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out four and walking one.
Greg Cullen went 2-4 on the night and Jose Bermudez was 1-3 with a double. Rome has hit five homeruns in the first three games of the season.
The series finale is scheduled for 3 pm Sunday afternoon at Intimidators Stadium in Kannapolis. Rome puts RHP Trey Riley on the mound. Kannapolis will start LHP Konnor Pilkington.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.