August 3, 2019–11:45 a.m.
Rome’s struggles to hit with runners in scoring position continued on Friday night as Hagerstown won the rubber game 4-2 and handed the Braves a series defeat.
Rome got solid pitching from right-handers William Woods and Ryan Shetter but endured an offensive drought for most of the game, getting only one hit between the 2nd and 8th innings.
The Braves started quickly in the 1st against Suns starting pitcher RHP Joan Adon as Justin Dean singled, stole second base and then scored on an RBI single from Braden Shewmake. The Braves threatened for more in the frame but a sharply hit line drive was converted into a double play.
Suns slugger Drew Mendoza immediately flipped the score on a two-run homer to right-center field off Woods in the Bottom of the 1st to give Hagerstown a 2-1 lead. Rome would respond in the 4th inning on a solo homer from Greg Cullen out to right field to tie the game at 2-2.
Things were tight throughout but the Suns got a pair of unearned runs thanks to a trio of Rome errors, all of which led directly to runs and provided the winning margin.
Trailing 4-2 and down to their final out the Braves pushed back. Griffin Benson and Jose Bermudez ripped consecutive singles. Brendan Venter worked a four-pitch walk to load the bases and put the tying run in scoring position, but a fly ball to right ended the game and the series.
Rome finished the three-game set going 4 for 29 with runners in scoring position.
Dean was 1-2 with a walk, a stolen base and was hit by a pitch. Cullen was 1-4 with a solo homer. Shewmake went 1-2 with an RBI. Making his second start of the season, Woods fired 4 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits. He struck out two and walked two. Shetter pitched 4 innings and allowed one run, which was unearned, on four hits. He struck out one and did not issue a walk.
Rome continues its road trip with a four-game series in West Virginia. Game 1 between the Braves and Power is scheduled for 6:05 pm Saturday evening from Appalachian Power Park.
Rome Braves (20-21, 50-60): 2 R 6 H 3 E
Hagerstown Suns (20-20, 50-60): 4 R 8 H 0 E
W: Joan Adon (10-3)
L: William Woods (0-4)
S: Chandler Day (1)