Asheville wins series with homer barrage

July 22, 2019–6:31 a.m.


The Rome Braves overcame three separate deficits on Sunday afternoon but were unable to hold their only lead as the Asheville Tourists used a 9th inning rally to walk it off against them for the third time in four days. Asheville got two homers in the 9th to win the finale 9-7 and take the series.

Both starting pitchers struggled on Sunday and were gone after 4 innings. Following a rain delay of just under an hour, Asheville got three runs in the 1st inning against RHP Jose Olague. Rome responded immediately in the 2nd as Griffin Benson and Greg Cullen worked walks to open the frame against Tourists hurler RHP Shelby Lackey. Jeremy Fernandez ripped a single up the middle to score Benson and two runs later scored on a double from Jose Bermudez to tie the game 3-3.

After the Tourists made it 5-3 the Braves answered in the 4th inning.  Cullen reached on a walk, advanced on an error and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Trailing by a run Rome tied it 5-5 in the 5th when Cullen drove a two-out single into center field to score Braden Shewmake.

The Tourists took their third lead of the day at 6-5 in the bottom of the 5th and chased Olague from the game.

Rome once more came back and tied it up, this time at 6-6 in the 7th on an RBI single from Shea Langeliers off the McCormick Field wall in right-center. The Braves then got their first, and only, lead of the day at 7-6 on a Drew Campbell RBI single into center field in the 8th inning which brought in Fernandez.

Asheville opened the Bottom of the 9th with a solo homer from Terrin Vavra out to center field. They won it on a two-run shot from Willie MacIver. All three Tourists wins in the series came in walk-off fashion against the Rome bullpen.

Langeliers ended the day 2-4 with an RBI and a walk. Shewmake was 2-5 with a double. Campbell went 2-5 with an RBI. Cullen was 1-3 with two walks and an RBI. Bermudez finished the series by going 1-3 with a double, a walk, a hit by a pitch and two RBI.

Rome concludes its road trip with three losses in four games. After an off-day on Monday, the Braves open a seven-game homestand against Hagerstown and West Virginia. Rome faces the Suns for three games Tuesday-Thursday and the Power in a four-game set starting Friday. Game 1 between the Braves and Suns from State Mutual Stadium is set for 7 pm Tuesday evening. Rome is expected to start RHP Odalvi Javier.

Rome Braves (16-15, 46-54):                      7 R       10 H    0 E

Asheville Tourists (16-15, 45-56):              9 R        16 H    1 E

W: Alexander Martinez (5-4)

L: Jake Higginbotham (3-3)

Time: 2:56 (:57 delay)

Attendance: 2,372

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