August 9th, 2019 – 7:00AM
Kevin Karel, Rome Braves Radio
Returning from a long road trip and opening an important series against the 1st place team in their division, the Rome Braves turned in one of their finest performances of the season in a 7-0 shutout win over the rival GreenJackets on Thursday evening. The victory cuts Rome’s deficit in the Southern Division race to 3 games with three more matchups remaining in the series.
The Braves offense continued its recent trend of early production as Justin Dean tripled to open the 1st inning, then scored on a Braden Shewmake RBI groundout. Rome put up the game-defining rally in the 2nd against Augusta starter RHP Adam Oller.
Drew Campbell tripled into the right center field gap, scoring Griffin Benson. Jeremy Fernandez followed with an RBI single. Leading 3-0, the Braves then got four consecutive singles from Dean, Greg Cullen, Shewmake and Shea Langeliers. In all, the rally included five runs on seven hits and put the Braves ahead 6-0 after 2 innings. Oller would yield 10 hits to the first 13 batters he faced in the game.
The offensive outburst would be more than enough for the Rome pitching staff.
Making his third start of the season, Braves RHP William Woods earned the victory as he fired 5 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit. He would strike out five and walk three on the evening. It was Woods’ first win of the season.
Relievers LHP Jake Higginbotham and RHP Victor Vodnik were impressive as well. Higginbotham threw 2 shutout frames and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three. Vodnik threw 2 scoreless innings and did not surrender a hit. He struck out two and walked two.
Dean finished the game 3-5 with a triple and two runs scored. Cullen was 2-4 with a walk. Langeliers was 2-4 with two RBI. Shewmake was 1-3 with 3 RBI and was hit by a pitch.
The shutout was Rome’s first since June 10th against Charleston, a game which was started by former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel. Rome has five shutout wins this season.
Rome and Augusta continue their four game series on Friday evening at State Mutual Stadium. Game 2 is scheduled for 7 pm. Rome will start RHP Ricky DeVito, who will be making his South Atlantic League debut appearance. Augusta has not announced its starting pitcher for the game.
Rome Braves (23-23, 53-62): 7 R 12 H 0 E
Augusta GreenJackets (26-20, 62-52): 0 R 2 H 1 E
W: William Woods (1-4)
L: Adam Oller (4-5)