A dominant performance from the pitching staff willed the Rome Braves (9-6) to a 2-1 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods (10-7) on Thursday night. Alan Rangel, Trey Riley, and Indigo Diaz combined to toss 17 strikeouts in the win.
Rome found themselves trailing early at home but pushed across their first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Cody Milligan was thrown out trying to steal second base but merely served as a decoy. As Milligan was caught stealing, Shean Michel came crashing home from third base to tie it up. After several scoreless innings, Rome controlled its first lead in the home half of the eighth inning. A two-out RBI double from Michael Harris II brought home Kevin Josephina, putting the Braves out in front 2-1. Though the Hot Rods threatened in the top of the ninth, Indigo Diaz secured the final three outs to solidify the one-run win.
Harris has been Mr. Consistent so far for the Rome offense and continued his hot streak tonight. The Stockbridge, Ga., native was 2-for-4 against the Hot Rods and came through for the game-winning RBI in the eighth inning. Harris now has the highest batting average on the squad, as the Braves’ no. 10 prospect is hitting .368.
The entire Braves pitching staff earned a shout-out after their dominance on Wednesday night. Starter Alan Rangel struck out seven batters in four innings and gave up one earned run on five hits and one walk. Trey Riley shut down the Hot Rod offense in the middle innings, denying even a single baserunner and striking out six Bowling Green batters over the course of three innings. Indigo Diaz picked up the win, striking out four Hot Rods in two innings pitched. Rome’s 17 combined strikeouts are the most tossed in a nine-inning R-Braves contest since June 7, 2013.
The Braves return to action tomorrow night at State Mutual Stadium for Game 4 against the Hot Rods. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on Friday night’s contest, which will include a BBQ Apron Giveaway to the first 1000 fans in attendance.