August 26, 2019–5:48 a.m.
The Rome Braves kept themselves in the playoff hunt with a 4-3 victory over Columbia on a rainy Sunday evening at State Mutual Stadium. The victory keeps Rome three out with eight games left in the season.
The two teams waited out a weather delay of just over two hours and then Columbia jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning on a two-out double from Chase Chambers. Rome starter RHP William Woods settled down and got out of the inning, stranding two on base. He would not allow another run.
Rome answered with a long solo home run from Bryce Ball in the 2nd inning. The 419 foot shot to right-center tied the game at 1-1. The Braves took the lead for good in the 4th inning.
With two on and one out, Hagen Owenby singled up the middle, just out of the reach of Columbia shortstop Ronny Mauricio. The knock scored Shea Langeliers and put the home team up 2-1. In the 7th the Braves added further cushion with a two-run rally. Langeliers drove in speedster Justin Dean with an RBI single into center field. Ball walked and scored on a wild pitch to put Rome up 4-1.
Things tightened on Rome reliever RHP Ryan Shetter in the 8th inning due to some loose defense. A groundball that could have turned into a double-play was booted and allowed a run to score, making it 4-2 and put two Fireflies in scoring position with only one out. Shetter would not buckle. He induced a groundout, making it 4-3. RHP Kasey Kalich entered from the bullpen with the tying run at third base and ended the threat on a chopper to Greg Cullen.
Still clinging to a 4-3 advantage in the 9th inning Kalich made quick work of the Columbia offense. He struck out the side in order, ending the game and giving Rome a series victory. It earned Kalich his first save of the season and got Shetter a win.
Woods threw 4 innings and allowed one run on one hit. He struck out five and walked three. Shetter went 3.2 innings and surrendered two runs, both unearned, on three hits. He had three strikeouts and walked one. Kalich retired all four batters he faced.
Langeliers finished 4-4 with an RBI. It was his second four-hit game in the last week. Ball was 2-3 with a homer and a walk. Owenby went 2-2 with two walks and an RBI. Michael Harris was 1-3 with a walk.
Rehabbing big leaguer Austin Riley started in left field and went 1-3.
Rome took two of three games against Columbia and won four of six during their homestand. The Braves now embark on their final road trip of the regular season by heading to Greensboro, North Carolina. Rome opens the four-game series on Monday evening at 7 pm. The Braves are expected to start RHP Ricky DeVito (0-2, 5.87).
Rome Braves (32-30, 62-69) 4 R 11 H 1 E
Columbia Fireflies (27-35, 51-77) 3 R 4 H 0 E
W: Ryan Shetter (4-2)
L: Christian James (3-10)
S: Kasey Kalich (1)
Time: 3:00 (2:01 delay)