June 12, 2019–8:00 a.m.
The visiting Charleston RiverDogs used a three-run homer and strong pitching to deny the Braves a win on Tuesday evening at State Mutual Stadium, setting the stage for a rubber match in the matinee finale.
Rome scored two runs on eight hits but could not sustain rallies with runners in scoring position. The effort was unable to support strong pitching from starter LHP Gabriel Noguera and relievers RHP Victor Vodnik and RHP Jose Montilla.
Charleston took advantage of an error to break the scoreless tie in the 3rd inning. With two on and two out RiverDogs cleanup hitter Mickey Gasper ripped a three-run homer out to left. All three runs were unearned but Charleston took a 3-0 lead.
The Braves best chance to complete the comeback was in the 4th inning. Rome opened the frame with five consecutive singles, including RBI hits from Logan Brown and Griffin Benson. But with the score 3-2 and the bases still loaded with nobody out, the rally fizzled. Charleston starter RHP Alexander Vizcaino used a strikeout and a double play ball to end the threat. The Braves got the tying run on base in the 5th and again in the 9th but were unable to fully recover from the early deficit.
Noguera was tagged with the loss despite not surrendering an earned run. He threw 3 innings, giving up three unearned runs on two hits. He struck out one and walked three. Vodnik pitched four shutout frames and allowed three hits. He struck out two and walked two.
Hagen Owenby went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored. Greg Cullen was 2-4 with a run scored. Benson was 2-4 with an RBI and Brown was 1-4 with an RBI. Rome did not have an extra-base hit in the game.
The Rome Braves pitching staff has not surrendered an earned run to the 1st place RiverDogs through the first two games and 19 innings of the series.
Rome and Charleston conclude their three-game set on Wednesday afternoon. Game 3 is scheduled for 1 pm at State Mutual Stadium. Rome starts Monterrey, Mexico native RHP Jose Olague (5-4, 3.64). Charleston will counter with RHP Harold Cortijo (1-0, 3.60).
Rome Braves (27-37): 2 R 8 H 2 E
Charleston RiverDogs (35-30): 3 R 5 H 0 E
W: Alexander Vizcaino (4-2)
L: Gabriel Noguera (2-4)
S: Daniel Bies (1)
Rome Braves photo