Unfortunately, the Cinderella run has come to an end for Rome. After their horrific 18-52 start, they managed to win the second half title and force two elimination games for the best team in the league, but couldn’t close it out. The 4-3 loss to Asheville sends the Tourists to the SAL championship.
Despite only giving up four runs, the pitching really struggled. A.J. Holland only managed to last four innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks. Ian Thomas came in relief and didn’t fair any better, allowing three walks and a Jordan Ribera 2-run homer in his two innings. Nathan Hyatt was able to stabilize things, throwing two scoreless innings to give the offense a chance to come back.
Robby Hefflinger hit a solo homer in the 2nd to make up for an early run, then Elmer Reyes drove in a tying run in the 7th before Ribera’s homer put the Tourists ahead for good. The R-Braves managed to load the bases and score a run on a Ross Heffley single, but Hefflinger struck out to end the game.
The Hillcats used a strong performance from Michael Lee and a nice game from Andrelton Simmons to win Game 1 of the Mills Cup 3-1. Lee dominated all facets of the game, allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out nine in 6.1 IP, including the side in both the third and fourth. Ryne Harper allowed three straight singles that plated the Dash’s only run, while Juan Jaime closed it out. Three double plays were key to end threats.
Simmons got the scoring going very early, hitting a homer to lead off the game. He also scored in the 7th on a Tommy La Stella SAC fly. Edward Salcedo finally woke up, belting two doubles and scoring the game’s other run. Despite the win, it’s disappointing to see Lynchburg only score three runs on 15 baserunners. Game 2 will start at 2:00 ET today, with Ryan Weber on the mound for the Braves versus Justin Collop.