The Columbus Catfish used the 3rd inning to rain hits and runs on the Rome Braves. Mother Nature waited until the 5th inning to rain on the game. The result of both storms was a 5-inning 12-2 win by the Catfish.
Rome's Eric Campbell extended his Rome Braves single-season home run record with his 19th in the 1st inning, to put the Catfish down 1-0.
In the 2nd inning, the Catfish struck back. C Conor McGeehan doubled with one out and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After RF Chris Jensen walked, McGeehan scored on an error by Rome 3B Eric Campbell. Jensen moved to third when CF Bridger Hunt reached on a fielder's choice. LF Adam Godwin singled to right, scoring Chris Jensen. The Catfish attempted a double steal in hopes of padding the lead, but Hunt was caught stealing home after an aborted attempt to catch Godwin stealing second. When Rome C Jose Camarena tagged Hunt, that ended the inning.
Rome tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd when, with 1 out and the bases loaded, a bouncer to the mound by Rome 2B Jose Santos was fielded by Catfish P James McDonald who threw to second to start a double play, but Catfish SS Juan Rivera couldn't get the ball out of his glove, and Rome DH Josh Morris scored. The inning ended with the score tied at 2.
The 3rd inning changed everything. The Catfish sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring 8 times. With 1 out, DH Lucas May hit his roster-leading 16th home run off the Sonny's Barbeque sign in left center, making it 3-1. 3B Eduardo Perez singled, followed by 1B David Sutherland's double. Conor McGeehan walked to load the bases. Chris Jensen hit a sacrifice fly scoring Perez, making it 4-2. SS Juan Rivera singled up the middle, scoring Sutherland, making the score 5-2. Bridger Hunt doubled, knocking in McGeehan and Rivera, bringing it to 7-2. Adam Godwin walked. 2B Travis Denker singled, scoring Hunt, making it 8-2. Lucas May then singled to center, driving in Godwin and making it 9-2. Eduardo Perez singled to left field, scoring Denker and making the score 10-2.
It stayed that way until the top of the fifth when the rain started. Despite the rain, Bridger Hunt led off the inning with a single on a ground ball to center. After two fly ball outs, Lucas May hit his 17th home run, a 2-run shot into the bullpen behind left field. It was Luke's 2nd homer of the day, his 6th in a week, and his 5th 2-run homer since the previous Sunday.
The rains picked up, driving most fans for cover. The umpiring crew kept the game going, though. Despite the heavy rain, they let the bottom of the 5th be played to make it an official game. Rome C Jose Camarena popped out to Catfish 3B Eduardo Perez in foul territory. Rome LF Rubi Koko flied out to center, then 2B Jose Santos struck out. As soon as the 3rd out occurred and it was an official game, home plate umpire Chris Mack signaled both teams off the field.
The rain ended after a little bit, but with the forecast for more, the umpires called the game, and the Catfish had a rain-shortened, 5-inning, 12-2 win.
Lucas May led the Catfish batters, going 3-for-3 with 2 home runs, a total of 4 RBIs. Bridger Hunt was 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Adam Godwin and Eduardo Perez each had 2 hits. Hunt, McGeehan, and Sutherland each had a double.
P James McDonald allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5 to pick up his 4th win.
The win is the Catfish' 6th in a row, and 9th in their last 10.
It was great to see the Catfish playing good ball, especially against Rome, who's already qualified for the SAL playoffs. The temperature reached 97 degrees before the rain started, and it felt great at first. By the time the game was called, the Wife and I had decided we had had enough and headed for cover. It was the most fun we have had soaking wet ... while surrounded by 2,000 other people.