The Rome Braves split the first two games of their series with the Aberdeen Ironbirds in Maryland. Rome (21-21) shutout the home team 14-0 Tuesday, but fell in extra innings 3-2 Wednesday.
Wednesday: Aberdeen 3, Rome 2 (11 Inn.)
Rome got out to an early lead courtesy of a sacrifice fly from Michael Harris II and a solo home run from Jesse Franklin V for a 2-0 edge after 1½ innings.
Aberdeen’s offense finally pushed runs across in the bottom of the sixth inning when Shayne Fontana hit an RBI single, then scored the game-tying run off a Dylan Harris RBI double.
Aberdeen had a tremendous opportunity to win the game with the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, but could not push a run across.
The Ironbirds would find the game winner in the next inning when J.D. Mundy singled home Dylan Harris with two outs.
Rome pitchers combined for 20 strikeouts Wednesday.
Indigo Diaz (4-1) suffered his first loss of the year while Aberdeen’s Easton Lucas earned his third win.
Tuesday: Rome 14, Aberdeen 0
The Rome Braves brought the bats to Maryland, striking for five before the Ironbirds had a chance to hit.
Jesse Franklin V set the tone early with a three-run home run to extend Rome’s lead to 4-0. He would finish the night 3-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs, raising his batting average to .296.
Rome tacked on two more runs before the middle of the third to stretch the lead to 6-0, but Logan Brown applied the first layer of icing to the Braves’ big win with a grand slam in the top of the seventh for a 10-0 advantage.
The Braves added another four-spot in the top of the eighth.
Bryce Elder, Rome’s starting pitcher Tuesday, had plenty to work with early, and proved ready to put his first loss of the season last time on the mound against Asheville in the rear-view mirror.
Elder dealt five innings, allowing just two hits, no runs, three walks and seven strikeouts. Elder’s record goes to 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA.
Rome and Aberdeen continue their series through Sunday.