July 3, 2019–7:43 a.m.
Four early runs weren’t enough for the Rome Braves on Tuesday evening as Kannapolis used a walk-off double to beat the visitors 5-4 at Intimidators Stadium.
The Braves got three runs in the 1st inning and another in the 2nd to build a 4-0 lead but didn’t score again and Kannapolis gradually chipped away at the advantage. Kannapolis took its first lead of the game on a two-run walk-off double by Bryce Bush in the Bottom of the 9th inning, spoiling Rome’s bid at a series-tying victory. Instead, the Intimidators have taken the series and will go for the sweep on Wednesday night.
Starting fast against Kannapolis right-hander Jason Bilous, the Braves opened the game with a double by Justin Dean. He scored on an RBI single from Greg Cullen. With the bases loaded and one out, Jeremy Fernandez hit a shot up the middle, scoring two runs and giving the Braves an early 3-0 lead. Rome got their final run in the 2nd on a Cullen RBI double into deep right field which scored Jose Bermudez.
Kannapolis began to mount a comeback in the 3rd inning against Rome starter LHP Dilmer Mejia. Bush drove in two on a double into left-center field, making it 4-2. Kannapolis slugger Corey Zangari pulled the Intimidators closer with a solo home run out to left in the 4th inning. It was the first homer Mejia has surrendered since April 14th, a stretch encompassing 50 innings from the Nicaraguan lefty.
Mejia and Rome reliever RHP Jose Montilla escaped trouble and held the one-run lead through the 8th inning. Kannapolis left the tying run in scoring position in the 7th and 8th before breaking through in the 9th against RHP Ryan Shetter. Bush ended his night with two doubles and four RBI for Kannapolis.
Rome had only one hit and did not score a run in the final 7 innings of the game.
Mejia received a no-decision for 6 innings of work. He allowed three runs on nine hits while striking out five and walking one. Montilla pitched 2 scoreless innings and allowed three hits. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Cullen was 2-5 with a double and two RBI. Fernandez was 2-4 with two RBI. Dean was 1-4 with a double, walk and a stolen base.
Dean extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the loss.
Rome and Kannapolis conclude their three-game series on Wednesday evening from Intimidators Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7 pm. Rome will start RHP Alan Rangel (6-4, 4.94) while Kannapolis will counter with RHP Johan Dominguez (4-3, 2.36).
Rome Braves (7-6, 37-45): 4 R 6 H 2 E
Kannapolis Intimidators (8-5, 36-45): 5 R 15 H 2 E
W: Wilber Perez (2-1)
L: Ryan Shetter (2-1)