Braves Earn First Extra-Inning Victory of 2021 with Ten-Inning Triumph
Note: the following item was provided by the Rome Braves. – KtE
The Rome Braves (12-10) secured their first extra-inning victory of the 2021 campaign in Friday night’s 4-3 win in ten innings over the Greenville Drive (10-12). A base hit from Brett Langhorne brought home Jesse Franklin V from third base to give Rome their second walk-off win against Greenville in this week’s series.
Neither offense found much success in the game’s first two innings. The Drive struck first, scoring one run each in the third and fourth innings off starter Bryce Elder to take a 2-0 lead. Rome responded in the bottom of the fifth as a sacrifice fly from Beau Philip allowed Jesse Franklin V to touch home plate. Greenville added an insurance run in the top of the seventh and controlled a 3-1 advantage. After managing just two hits in the first seven innings, the Braves erupted in crunch time by scoring two runs to tie the game.
A Cody Milligan double brought in Beau Philip and a wild pitch scored Brett Langhorne to knot it up. Reliever Indigo Diaz was phenomenal late, shutting down Greenville in the top of the ninth with a quick 1-2-3 inning. After a similarly fast bottom of the ninth, Diaz resumed his work atop the mound at State Mutual Stadium. The standout continued his reign of terror against Drive batters and recorded four strikeouts in the tenth inning alone.
In the following half-inning, Jesse Franklin V moved up to third on a Beau Philip bloop-single. In the next at bat, Brett Langhorne launched a ball past the centerfielder’s glove to score Franklin and hand Rome a hard-fought victory.
Beau Philip had his best game as a Rome Brave on Friday night. The shortstop was 3-for-3 with one run scored and one run batted in. His sacrifice fly in the fifth inning allowed Rome to start cutting into the deficit and his single in the tenth played a crucial role in the R-Braves’ walk-off triumph. Philip, who hit his first home run of the season in Tuesday night’s 6-5 victory over Greenville, is now hitting .211 on the season with ten runs and three RBIs.
As thrilling as the comeback was from an offensive standpoint, none of it would have been possible without the efforts of Indigo Diaz. The Michigan State product has been solid all season, allowing just one earned run coming into tonight’s game.
Diaz still found a way to improve, though, by throwing three scoreless innings. The righty gave up just one baserunner via a walk and recorded eighth strikeouts. Four of his K’s came with a runner at second base in the tenth inning. Diaz is now 4-0 on the season with a 0.73 ERA and is tied for the league lead in wins and saves (2).
The Braves are now tied for second place with the Bowling Green Hot Rods (12-10) in the High-A East South standings. The league-leading Asheville Tourists (12-9) sit a half-game ahead of Rome and Bowling Green in the division. Rome plays the next-to-last game of the series against Greenville on Saturday night at State Mutual Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. in Rome.
Saturday night’s game will be the last chance for R-Braves fans to snag a Freddie Freeman MV-Free bobblehead. The first 500 fans through the gate will receive the bobblehead which is presented by Redmond Regional Medical Center.
Tomorrow night’s game will also be the Military Appreciation Game, in which there will be an auction for the Rome Braves’ game-worn digital camo jerseys. All proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit the Atlanta Braves Foundation.