Stingy pitching and great hitting willed the Rome Braves (33-30) to a 6-0 shutout win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers (37-26) last night at home. Braves pitching allowed just four hits to Grasshopper batters, while the Rome bats continued to string hits late in the six-run victory.
Rome opened the scoring early on Thursday night. Jesse Franklin V drove in Kevin Josephina and Michael Harris II on a two-run triple in the top of the first inning. Franklin was brought home in the next at-bat, following a sacrifice fly by Bryce Ball, to make it 3-0. After five scoreless innings, the R-Braves added some insurance runs. An RBI single from Harris scored Cody Milligan, pushing Rome’s advantage to four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Rome scored two times the following inning. Rusber Estrada doubled, bringing home Riley Delgado, and Estrada touched home plate after an RBI double from Andrew Moritz. Rome worked around some trouble in the top of the ninth to secure the shutout victory, their first win of this week’s series.
Moritz led the offense again, going 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI. Delgado was 2-for-2 with one run while Harris was 2-for-4 with one run scored and one run batted in. Franklin finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and one run, and Estrada finished 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run.
AJ Puckett had a phenomenal outing for Rome, allowing no runs and giving up just two hits and one walk in seven innings. The Pepperdine product tallied five strikeouts on the day. Marrick Crouse (1IP, 3K) and Kasey Kalich (1IP, 1H, 1BB) combined to pitch the final two innings of the 6-0 shutout win.
The Braves and Grasshoppers play the fourth of this week’s six-game series tomorrow night at State Mutual Stadium. Gates will open at 6 p.m. and first pitch is set for 7 p.m. The first 500 fans through the gates will receive a Ronald Acuña Jr. Cooling Towel. The towel giveaway is presented by Giggity’s.