June 17, 2019–7:42 a.m.
The Rome Braves fell to Augusta in extra innings on Sunday afternoon, splitting their four-game series with the GreenJackets at SRP Park. The loss ends the first half of Rome’s season and sends them into the All-Star Break with a 30-39 record.
Once again the Braves got excellent pitching, holding Augusta to three runs, two earned, behind solid work from LHP Gabriel Noguera and RHP Victor Vodnik.
Augusta took the lead 2-0 with a rally in the 3rd inning against Noguera. A leadoff double and a bunt single started the trouble. Runs scored on a balk and an RBI single.
Rome answered with a two-run homer from Griffin Benson in the 4th inning, tying the game up at 2-2. The contest then became a stalemate as both sides got big outs from their hurlers in crucial spots. Rome was unable to deliver a hit with a runner in scoring position in the final 8 innings of the game.
Eventually, the two clubs went to extras. Rome left two runners on base in the Top of the 10th and Augusta finally broke the tie on an RBI single up the middle by Frankie Tostado in the bottom half of the frame to walk it off. The win was too little too late for the GreenJackets who finished 0.5 games behind the Lexington Legends for the 1st half Southern Division title.
Benson finished 1-4 with a homer and two RBI. Ariel Montesino was 2-4 with a stolen base and Jose Bermudez was 2-3 with a walk. Noguera pitched 5 innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out two and walked two. Vodnik threw 4 shutout innings, striking out two and walking one while lowering his ERA to 1.70. He has surrendered only one earned run since May 1st.
The South Atlantic League All-Star Game is being held Tuesday evening at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, West Virginia. Rome’s Logan Brown and Greg Cullen will start the game for the Southern Division and reliever RHP Jose Montilla will be available to pitch out of the bullpen.
Rome will be off for the next three days during the All-Star break and will open the second half of the season at State Mutual Stadium on Thursday evening against the Hagerstown Suns. The first pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7 pm.
Rome Braves (30-39): 2 R 9 H 1 E
Augusta GreenJackets (36-32): 3 R 11 H 0 E
W: Jesus Tona (2-2)
L: Jake Higginbotham (1-2)