Legends On Deck

SAL Game of the Week: Rome Falls 3-2 in Wednesday’s Rubber Match

It was a 10:30am first pitch in Northwest Georgia today as the Rome Braves squared off against the Columbia Fireflies in the rubber match of their three game series. The Braves took the game one pitching battle on Monday night by a score of 3-2 before dropping last night’s rain shortened game by a final tally of 8-3. Columbia would win this morning’s game three by a final score of 3-2 and with it, get the 2-1 series win. Legends on Deck was live at State Mutual Stadium to catch all of the action. 

It was yet another pitcher’s duel as both teams trotted their hottest hurlers out to the mound for the early first pitch. Highly regarded prospect Ian Anderson took the mound for the Braves while the Fireflies sent Jordan Humphreys to toe the rubber.

Anderson got into some early jams, including two runners in scoring position in the top of the first. Luis Caprio scored on a wild pitch before Anderson bounced back to get out of the inning with a flyout to left and a strikeout. Anderson found himself in a bases loaded, one out situation in the top of the second, but also got out of that one with minimal damage as he only allowed one run when he walked Gene Cone with the bases loaded. Anderson would last two more innings and would not allow another baserunner. It was an encouraging performance from the 18 year old righty as he managed the game well and didn’t let the tough start effect the rest of his day on the mound.

Anderson’s final line : 4 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 7 SO, 3 BB

Humphreys had a solid day on the mound as well as he was perfect through four innings before Juan Yepez led off the bottom of the 5th with a double to give the Braves their first base runner of the day. Yepez had a heads up play on the bases as he stole third on catcher Brandon Brosher’s throw back to Humphreys. The base path awareness allowed Yepez to score when Lucas Herbert beat the shift with a single to right field, narrowing the Columbia lead to 2-1.

Humphreys final line: 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 SO, 0 BB

The pitching battle didn’t end when the starters came out. Enderson Franco came on for the Braves in the 5th and had three solid innings which included five strikeouts and one earned run on three hits before turning it over to the 6’6 righty Matt Custred. Custred followed suit when he pitched a hitless eighth inning with two strikeouts and one walk.

The Fireflies took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth when the Braves Kurt Hoekstra led off the inning with a single before advancing from first to third on a Kevin Josephina sacrifice bunt. The heads up baserunning would pay off yet again as Hoekstra would score on a wild pitch from Columbia’s Adonis Uceta. Custred would come back on for Rome in the ninth and pitch a perfect 1,2,3 inning that ended with a strikeout of Carpio on Custred’s big looping curveball.

Joseph Zanghi would come on to try and close it out for the Fireflies in the bottom of the ninth. Juan Yepez continued his solid day at the plate as he singled with one out to give the Braves some hope in the ninth. Anfernee Seymour, regarded as the fastest player in the Braves system, came on to pinch run for Yepez. Anthony Concepcion hit a line drive base hit right back up the middle, but the Braves good fortune on the basepaths couldn’t hold up in the ninth as he was thrown out after a big turn at first base. Seymour went first to third on the play, but Brett Cumberland would pop out in the next at bat to end the game, giving Zanghi his second save of the season. 

Rome Top Performers:

Juan Yepez: 2/4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 SB

Enderson Franco: 3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 5 SO, 1 BB

Matt Custred: 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 SO, 0 BB

Columbia Top Performers:

Jordan Humphreys: 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 SO, 0 BB

Gene Cone: 2/4, 1 RBI, 1 R

Rome ends their seven game home stand with a 3-4 record as they prepare to hit the road for seven games, four against Greenville and three against Hickory.

Jake Berry
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