Rome flexes mus­cle in 9-1 open­ing day vic­tory in Kan­napo­lis

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - ROMES BRAVES By Rome Braves Re­lease

KAN­NAPO­LIS, NC — Justin Dean ripped an in­side-the-park home­run on the first pitch of the game and the Rome Braves never looked back, open­ing the 2019 sea­son with an im­pres­sive 9-1 win over the In­tim­ida­tors in North Carolina on Thurs­day evening.

Af­ter adding a sec­ond run in the first in­ning on a Bren­dan Ven­ter RBI sin­gle, Rome erupted for four runs in the third thanks to a Griffin Ben­son RBI dou­ble and a three-run homer from Ven­ter.

Trey Har­ris added a solo shot in the fifth and Rome com­pleted their scor­ing with two runs in the sixth in­ning on back-to-back RBI sin­gles by Har­ris and Ven­ter, ex­tend­ing the lead to 9-0.

Kan­napo­lis got its lone run in the eighth in­ning on a dou­ble from Steele Walker into cen­ter field to pull it to 9-1. Rome never trailed in the game.

Ven­ter fin­ished his night 4-for-5 with a homer, dou­ble and five RBIs. Har­ris, Dean, and An­drew Moritz all con­trib­uted multi-hit ef­forts as well, and Greg Cullen had a hit and two walks.

As the Rome of­fense siz­zled, their pitch­ing staff en­joyed a suc­cess­ful night of its own. RHP Nolan King­ham got the win, toss­ing five score­less in­nings and al­low­ing only three hits, with a strike­out and no walks. For­mer po­si­tion player-turned re­liever Kurt Hoek­stra was dom­i­nant on Thurs­day out of the bullpen, record­ing four strike­outs in 1 1/3 in­nings.

Game two of the se­ries and sea­son was sched­uled for 7 p.m. Fri­day evening at In­tim­ida­tors Sta­dium in Kan­napo­lis. Rome puts RHP Jasseel De La Cruz on the mound. Kan­napo­lis will start LHP Tay­lor Var­nell. They fin­ished out the se­ries af­ter press time in North Carolina, then played the Columbia Fire­flies to open the week again on the road be­fore they come home to Floyd County for the home opener against the Greenville Drive on Thurs­day, with a 7 p.m. start time at the Braves Sta­dium in Rome.

Check back in com­ing edi­tions to keep up with how the Braves are doing this sea­son.

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