The Rome Braves (17-15) took both games of a Wednesday night doubleheader against the Asheville Tourists (13-18). Rome won Game 1 8-4 before knocking off Asheville 5-3 in a seven-inning affair in Game 2.
Game 1, Rome wins 8-4The first game of this week-long set against the Tourists started on Tuesday evening. Rome led 5-0 when play was suspended in the top of the third inning, and the remainder of the nine-inning contest was finished on Wednesday night. Rome added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when Bryce Ball scored on a wild pitch. Though Asheville would respond with three runs in the sixth and one run in the eighth, the R-Braves successfully pulled away with a two-run bottom of the eighth thanks to a fielding error and a wild pitch.
Bryce Elder started the game on Tuesday, striking out three batters and allowing just one hit in 2 1/3 innings. Shuster started the continued game on Wednesday night, surrendering three earned runs on six hits in three innings. The first-round pick did receive the win against Asheville. Mitch Stallings (2.2IP, 2H, 1BB, 1ER) earned a hold while Kasey Kalich (1BB, 1K) recorded the final three outs.
Game 2, Rome wins 5-3The visiting Tourists struck for three runs in the top of the first inning, but that is all their offense would muster in Wednesday’s nightcap. The Braves responded with two runs the following half-inning, as a Rusber Estrada sacrifice fly brought home Kevin Josephina and a wild pitch allowed Bryce Ball to touch home plate. Rome tied it in the fourth when a sacrifice fly scored Shean Michel. Later in that inning, the Braves took their first lead when a two-out throwing error let Garrett Saunders score. Jesse Franklin V then belted his fourth home run of the 2021 season in the fifth inning, putting an exclamation point on the Rome win.
Coleman Huntley III earned the start and allowed three earned runs in the first inning. Zach Daniels (2IP, 1H, 1BB, 1K) provided solid middle-innings relief while Freddy Tarnok (4IP, 0H, 1BB, 8K), who made his season debut, shut down the Tourists late and picked up the win.
Jesse Franklin V shined for the Rome offense between the two games, going 3-for-5 with one home run, two runs scored, and one RBI. The Michigan product is batting .232 on the season and is now tied for the team lead in long balls. The everyday right fielder, who never lacked consistency on defense, is continuing to progress at the plate.
Freddy Tarnok stole the show on Wednesday at State Mutual Stadium. The 22-year-old right-hander saw his first action since 2019 and did not disappoint, tossing four innings of shutout baseball in the doubleheader finale. The Riverview, Fla., native struck out eight and picked up the win in his first appearance of the year. Tarnok will look for more opportunities to perform moving forward with the High-A Braves.
On Thursday night, Rome hosts Asheville for the third of six games this week in Floyd County. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. The game highlight is Thirsty Thursday, as 12oz domestic draft beer and fountain drinks are just $2 each. Unfortunately, the Wing Night promotion offered on previous Thursdays has been suspended until further notice due to the nationwide chicken wing shortage. For ticketing information, visit