Kevin Karel, Rome Braves Radio —
ROME, GA —Recent first round draft picks Shea Langeliers and Braden Shewmake led the Rome Braves to a thrilling comeback win in extra innings against West Virginia on Friday evening. The two prospects combined for five hits and five RBI on the night as Rome took the opening game of a four game set from the Power.
Trailing West Virginia by a run in the Bottom of the 10th the Braves needed a rally to avoid a third straight loss in their home ballpark. With one out and Justin Dean at third base Shewmake ripped a full count offering into the left center gap for an RBI triple, tying the game 4-4. Langeliers followed and swatted the first pitch he saw into center. Charlie McConnell made the catch but his throw to the plate was short and Shewmake raced home on the sacrifice fly to win it 5-4 and begin the infield celebration as Langeliers was mobbed by his teammates.
The Power took an early lead against Rome starter LHP Gabriel Noguera in the 1st inning. They mashed four hits in the frame but scored only one run. Down 1-0 in the 4th the Braves tied it on a towering solo homer out to left by Langeliers. The shot was his second homerun as a pro.
The Braves took their first lead with two runs in the 5th as a run scored on a grounder from Shewmake and another came in on a Langeliers RBI single into right field.
Rome’s 3-1 advantage was erased by defensive mistakes in the 7th and the game would eventually head to extras tied 3-3. Following another Power rally with an unearned run in the 10th the Braves tied it on the Shewmake triple and won it on the Langeliers sac fly. The win puts Rome back over .500 for the second half at 18-17.
The late heroics capped a night of positives for Langeliers who finished 3-4 with a homer and three RBI. Shewmake was 2-5 with a triple and two RBI. Noguera pitched well once again and received a no-decision. He threw 6.1 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits while recording seven strikeouts and issuing three walks.
Rome reliever LHP Tanner Lawson was outstanding Friday night and earned the win. He pitched 3.2 innings and gave up one run, which was unearned. He struck out two and surrendered one hit and no walks.
Rome and West Virginia continue their four game series on Saturday evening. Game 2 is scheduled for 6 pm from State Mutual Stadium. Rome starts RHP William Woods (0-3, 3.91) while West Virginia puts RHP Ryne Inman (7-6, 4.41) on the mound.
Rome Braves (18-17, 48-56): 5 R 11 H 3 E
West Virginia Power (16-19, 53-52): 4 R 9 H 1 E
W: Tanner Lawson (3-4)
L: Kyle Hill (1-2)