Rome Races Past Wilmington on the Road

The Rome Braves had a successful road trip all-around. After taking four of their six

The Rome Braves had a successful road trip all-around. After taking four of their six matchups at Aberdeen the week before, Rome (29-23) went 5-1 in a road series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (23-29) last week.
June 29, Rome wins 6-2The Braves wasted no time getting things started in Delaware. Rome erupted for six runs in the first inning and played solid defense to register a four-run victory on Tuesday night. Riley Delgado (3-4, R) led the team in hits while Michael Harris II (1-5, 2B, RBI, R) picked up an extra-base hit. Beau Philip (1-4) tallied two RBI, Shean Michel (1-3) drove in one run, and Delgado, Harris, Cody Milligan (2-5), Kevin Josephina, and Logan Brown each touched home plate. Freddy Tarnok (5IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 8 K) picked up the win, improving his record to 2-1 on the season. Tyler Ferguson (2.2IP, 4K) earned his first hold of the year and Indigo Diaz (1IP, 1H, 1BB, 3K) pitched the final inning.
June 30, Rome wins 13-3The Braves exploded for thirteen runs in a Wednesday win in Wilmington. After Harris picked up a RBI groundout in the first inning, he recorded a grand slam in the top of the fifth to blow the game wide open. Jesse Franklin V tripled later in the inning, scoring Bryce Ball and making it 6-0. Rome scored five runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to take a 13-0 advantage. Harris (2-6) hit his fifth homer of 2021 in the win. He scored twice and drove in 7 runs on the day. Milligan (1-3, 2B), Philip (3-5), and Andrew Moritz (3-4, 2B) each scored three times while Franklin (1-3, 3B) and Ball (1-2, R) recorded two RBI each. Winning pitcher Alan Rangel (2-5 in 2021) threw six innings of two-run ball, tallying eight strikeouts of Blue Rock batters. Marrick Crouse (2IP, 3H, 1R, 2K) and Zach Daniels (1IP, 3BB, 1K) combined to pitch the last three innings.
July 2, Rome wins 5-4After Thursday’s rainout, both sides were well-rested for a Friday night affair at Frawley Stadium. In a back-and-forth showdown in front of 2,142 fans in Wilmington, it was a ninth-inning homer from Jesse Franklin V that lifted Rome to a narrow triumph. Franklin (2-5, HR, 2B) drove in two runs and scored once. Harris (3-5, RBI, R) led the team in hits while Milligan (2-4, 3B, RBI, R), Delgado (2-5, RBI, R), and Ball (2-4) had quality performances at the plate as well. Jared Shuster (5IP, 0H, 2BB, 1ER, 5K) had a quality performance but it was reliever Trey Riley (1.1IP, 2H, 1BB, 2K) who earned the win, staying undefeated with a 3-0 record this season. Davis Schwab tallied a hold (2) and Kasey Kalich (1IP, 1BB, 2K) picked up his fourth save of the year.
July 3 (Game 1), Rome wins 10-0The R-Braves picked up their second shutout of the road trip and the first in Wilmington with a 10-0 victory in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader. Franklin (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Philip (3-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) hit one home run each while Rusber Estrada (3-4, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R) went yard twice in the win. Mitch Stallings (4IP, 4H, 2BB, 2K) pitched the first four innings and Coleman Huntley III (3IP, 0H, 0BB, 2K) picked up the win, moving to 5-1 on the year.
July 3 (Game 2), Wilmington wins 6-2The Blue Rocks netted their only win of the series in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader. Wilmington raced out to a 3-0 lead and never trailed in the makeup game of Thursday’s rainout. Harris (1-4) had Rome’s only RBI and Milligan (1-3) and Moritz each touched home plate. Darius Vines fell to 0-2 in High-A, surrendering two earned runs in 1.2 innings on Saturday. Gabriel Noguera allowed two earned runs as well. Ferguson (2IP, 2H, 1BB, 2K) and Crouse (1IP, 1K) were the only R-Brave pitchers to not give up an earned run.
July 4, Rome wins 9-4Rome picked up a memorable win on Sunday in Wilmington. After allowing the Blue Rocks to tie it in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Braves scored five unanswered runs to win their fifth game of the road series. Franklin (3-5, 4 RBI, 2 R) hit his third homer of the weekend on Sunday. Josephina (3-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Moritz (3-4, 2B, 2 RBI), and Milligan (3-5, 2B, 2 R) also had three hits while Michel (2-4, 2B, 3 R) and Brown (2-5) had two hits each. Tarnok (5IP, 3H, 1BB, 4ER, 5K) picked up his second win of the week. Daniels (2IP, 1BB) notched his first hold of 2021 and Diaz (2IP) received his fifth save.
Starting Pitcher of the WeekFor the second week in a row, Alan Rangel was named the Starting Pitcher of the Week. The Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, native narrowly edge out Freddy Tarnok for the award after tossing six innings in Rome’s 13-3 win on Wednesday. Rangel gave up two hits and two walks and allowed zero earned runs in his only start of the week. He also struck out eight Blue Rock batters in the big victory. The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher is 2-5 in 2021 with a 4.32 ERA. He now has 57 strikeouts on the season in 41 2/3 innings pitched.
Relief Pitcher of the WeekTyler Ferguson picked up his first Relief Pitcher of the Week honors after seeing action in two games in Wilmington. The recently signed right-hander pitched 4 2/3 innings against the Blue Rocks and did not allow an earned run. The Vanderbilt alum was credited with one hold, coming in the 6-2 win on Tuesday. Ferguson struck out six and surrendered just two hits, one walk, and two hit batsmen. The 27-year-old veteran has a 1-1 record on the season, posting a 2.35 ERA in 7 2/3 innings as a Rome Brave.
Offensive Hitter of the WeekJesse Franklin V ended a scorching-hot month of June with arguably his best week yet. The 2020 third-round pick was .381 with three doubles, one triple, and three homers. He scored five times and drove in eleven runs. The former Michigan baseball star was second in the High-A East with a slugging percentage of .440 and an OPS of 1.048. Franklin was named the High-A East Player of the Week and was one of three outfielders listed in MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week. Atlanta’s no. 15 prospect is now hitting .287/.343/.573 with eleven homers in 45 games. 
Up NextRome officially went 9-3 in their road trip to the east coast, taking four out of six games in Aberdeen and five of six in Wilmington. The quick turnaround has improved the R-Braves’ record from .500 to six games above .500. They now sit five games out of first place in the High-A East South. Rome has a big opportunity this week, as they will host division-leading Bowling Green (34-18) eight times in six days. The series opener will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at State Mutual Stadium.