Moritz’s Game-Winner Leads R-Braves to 6-5 Triumph

Note: the following item was provided by The Rome Braves. – KtE

The Rome Braves (11-8) netted their first walk-off of 2021 in tonight’s 6-5 victory over the Greenville Drive (8-11). A ninth-inning base hit from Andrew Moritz brought home Beau Philip to win the series opener at State Mutual Stadium.

Rome raced out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when a Kevin Josephina double scored Cody Milligan from first base. Greenville struggled to get anything going against starter Jared Shuster but saw their first runs of the game come via a Grand Slam off Marrick Crouse in the top of the fifth.

In the following half-inning, the Braves scored four runs themselves thanks to a solo shot from Beau Philip, a Milligan RBI single, a RBI hit from Kevin Josephina, and a Michael Harris II one-run single.

The big burst put Rome back out in front by one run, but the advantage did not last long as a wild pitch plated Greenville’s fifth run in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the ninth, Beau Philip was hit by a pitch and Garrison Schwartz walked, putting the winning run in scoring position.

Andrew Moritz then produced a hard-hit ground ball that was deflected by the shortstop and flew into right field, scoring Philip with ease from second base.

The offensive player of the game was undoubtedly Beau Philip. The former Oregon State Beaver was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and one run batted in. Along with hitting his first home run of the season, Philip got aboard in the final inning and served as the winning run on Tuesday night.

The 2019 second-round pick has had a rough go of things so far, batting just .191, but tonight’s performance gives hope that Philip may change his luck in this series against the Drive.

Despite being held to just 34 pitches, Jared Shuster showed a ton of promise in his State Mutual Stadium debut versus Greenville.

Shuster lasted one full trip through the lineup and retired eight of the nine batters he faced, with the lone base runner coming due to a walk. The 2020 first-rounder finished with three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings pitched. Shuster now has a 3.00 ERA and will look for more playing time in the coming weeks.

Relievers Trey Riley (two innings, one hit, one walk, and one strikeout) and Indigo Diaz (W, 3-0; one inning, two strikeouts) also performed well in the series opener.

The R-Braves and the Drive are set to go to battle again in Floyd County on Wednesday night. The second of six games this week will begin at 7 p.m. at State Mutual Stadium.

Those interested in attending can take part in All-You-Can-Eat Wednesday, in which unlimited concession items (hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, and soda) are available in the All-You-Can-Eat Ticket Package.

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