Braves end playoff bid with shutout loss
The Rome Braves came into last Friday’s game down 0-1 to the Lexington Legends in the South Atlantic League Southern Division Series, needing a win to stay alive in the best of three series. It wasn’t to be, however, as Rome’s bats couldn’t get going in a 6-0 loss.
Rome wraps up the season with a 71-67 combined record including the playoffs and the South Atlantic League Southern Division first half title under their belt.
“You can’t win if you don’t score,” Braves manager Rocket Wheeler said. “We’ve got nothing to be sorry for. We’re proud and I’m proud of those kids. We gave it our best shot and fell short.”
Rome sent Walter Borkovich to the mound carrying a 4-1 regular season record into the playoffs and a 1.83 ERA. Lexington starter Daniel Lynch, a first round pick for the Royals earlier this season, got the ball for his team.
Lexington’s Cal Jones led off the third with a solo home run just over the glove of Rome left fielder Shean Michel to put the Legends up 1-0.
Brewer Hicklen kept the fourth inning alive for Lexington’s offense with a two out ground rule double over the right center field fence. He scored when Rome second baseman Kevin Josephina bobbled a ground ball, allowing Hicklen to score and giving the Legends a 2-0 lead.
The Legends had some base runners in the fifth, but failed to score then Lynch was replaced by Daniel Duarte in the bottom half of the inning. Lynch finished allowing no runs on three hits through four innings, walking one and striking out three Braves.
Borkovich finished having allowed two runs — one earned — on five hits through five innings. He struck out four on the night. Kelvin Rodriguez came on for Rome in the sixth.
The sixth and seventh innings were scoreless for both teams before Lexington broke it wide open with four runs in the eighth, all off of Atlanta Braves reliever Jose Ramirez who was on a rehab assignment with Rome.
Atlanta closer Arodys Vizcaino, also on rehab, kept the Legends scoreless in the ninth, but the lead was too much for Rome’s lineup to overcome, bringing the 2018 campaign to a close with a 6-0 loss.
Lexington had nine hits in the game to Rome’s six, but made the most of their base runners. Each team had an error on the night.
Rome Braves pitcher Walter Borkovich got the start versus the Lexington Legends in game two of the South Atlantic League Southern Division Series Friday night at State Mutual Stadium.