Columbia defeated Rome 2-1 in another tight game between the two clubs on Wednesday afternoon. Rome was held to just five hits in the rubber game of the series as Columbia left town having taken two of three contests.
Rome starting pitcher RHP Jose Olague consistently found himself in trouble in the early innings but managed to escape heavy damage, thanks in large part to great defense.
Andrew Moritz prevented a potential two run homer off the bat of Columbia’s Mark Vientos in the 1st inning. Moritz tracked the fly ball to the left field wall before leaping up and snatching it out of the air. Olague wriggled free from two other jams by inducing double-play grounders, one in the 2ndinning and another in the 3rd. He completed 5 innings of work, allowing one run on nine hits. He struck out one and walked one.
Columbia broke the scoreless tie with an RBI single from Walter Rasquin in the 5th inning. They added another run on a Rasquin single in the 7th though that run was unearned after a fielding error opened the inning. Rome got its only tally of the day after a groundball off the bat of Ricardo Rodriguez was misplayed for an error in the Bottom of the 7th and allowed Greg Cullen to score.
Unlike the previous game there were no late inning heroics for the Rome offense Wednesday as the Columbia bullpen got scoreless outings from Bryce Hutchinson and Ezequiel Zabaleta to close out the series. Justin Dean went 2-4 but was the only Rome player with a multi-hit day. Relievers Alan Rangel, Dilmer Mejia, and Lukas Young contributed 4 innings and allowed only one run, which was unearned. The three pitchers combined to strike out five with no walks.
Columbia and Rome have already played five times this season and the Fireflies have won four of those games. Rome has scored a combined 7 runs in the four losses.
The Braves end their homestand with four wins in seven games and next begin a brief road trip to Greenville. The Braves and Drive open their three game series at Flour Field Thursday evening at 7:05 pm. Rome will start RHP Trey Riley and Greenville puts RHP Chris Machamer on the bump.
Rome (5-8): 1 R 5 H 2 E
Columbia (6-7): 2 R 13 H 1 E
W: Jaison Vilera (1-1)
L: Jose Olague (1-2)
S: Ezequiel Zabaleta (3)