August 5, 2019–7:43 a.m.
The bats returned with force for the Rome Braves on Sunday in a 7-2 romp over West Virginia as the visitors evened their series at a game apiece with an impressive showing at Appalachian Power Park.
Starter LHP Dilmer Mejia was brilliant in twirling 6 shutout innings and keeping the Power lineup off balance while the Braves offense enjoyed rare success while hitting with runners in scoring position.
Rome got their first clutch hit of the day in the 1st inning when Greg Cullen lifted a two-out RBI single into right field to score Jose Bermudez and put Rome up 1-0. The lead expanded in the 3rd when Griffin Benson drove a two-run double down the right-field line to give Rome a 3-0 advantage.
The Braves effectively put the game out of reach in the 6th inning with a three-run rally, highlighted by a two-run double off the right-center fence from shortstop Braden Shewmake. Rome added an unearned run in the 9th inning and had more than enough cushion to cruise to the 7-2 victory.
Mejia got the win, his sixth of the year, and enjoyed one of his finest performances of the season. In 6 scoreless innings, he surrendered only three hits and two walks while striking out six batters. Only once did Mejia permit a runner to reach second base.
Drew Campbell helped lead the way for the Braves lineup, going 3-5 with a double and two runs scored. Shewmake was 2-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Benson was 1-5 with a double and two RBI. Cullen was 1-2 with an RBI and was hit by a pitch on three occasions. Braulio Vasquez was 1-2 with three walks. Ricardo Rodriguez went 2-5 and scored a run.
Rome finished the day 4-17 with runners in scoring position, equaling the number of hits they’d had in those situations in the previous four games combined.
Rome and West Virginia continue their four-game series on Monday evening at Appalachian Power Park. First pitch of Game 3 is set for 7:05 pm. Rome starts RHP Alan Rangel (9-5, 4.51) while the Power put RHP Josias De Los Santos (2-6, 5.06) on the mound.
Rome Braves (21-22, 51-61): 7 R 11 H 0 E
West Virginia Power (20-23, 57-56): 2 R 9 H 5 E
W: Dilmer Mejia (6-2)
L: Evan Johnson (0-2)
S: Jose Montilla (4)