It only took 12 innings this time, but the outcome was similar to the night before. The Columbus Catfish scored multiple runs in the top of the 12th inning, then held on for an extra inning win over the Rome Braves, 5-3 Monday night.
The Catfish had scored first, when RF John Matulia tripled with one out in the 1st, then scored on a single by 3B Cesar Suarez.
Rome tied it up in the 2nds, on an error, a single, a fielder's choice, and a sacrifice fly. The home team took the lead in the 6th, on a triple, a fielder's choice, a single, and another fielder's choice.
Like Rome came back from a 2-run deficit the night before, the Catfish did the same Monday. In the 7th, Matulia walked, and scored on a Suarez double to left. With one out, LF Ryan Royster walked, then, after a pitching change, scored on a single by 2B Brett Grandstrand.
The Catfish had a runner on 2rd with 1 out in the 8th, but 2 infield pop flies stymied the threat, and, after squashing a Rome threat in the 9th, the game went to extra innings.
Rome put a runner on 2nd in the 10th, but the Catfish held. In the 11th, the Catfish managed to put a runner on 3rd base, but couldn't bring him in.
In the 12th, Royster led with a double. Grandstrand attempted to sacrifice him over to 3rd, but an error by Rome pitcher Deunte Heath not only allowed Grandstrand to reach base, but to reach second, and allowed Royster to score, putting the Catfish up by a run. With first base open, 1B Matt Fields struck out, but reached on a dropped third strike when Rome 1B Josh Morris misplayed the toss from Rome C Jerry Verastegui. Grandstrand made it to third when Rome turned a double play, and scored when SS Jairo De La Rosa singled, putting the Catfish up, 5-3.
Rome threatened with a 1-out double by CF Jordan Schafer, but he was stranded at second when reliever Neal Frontz struck out the next 2 Rome batters to win the game.
The win was the first of the season by Frontz. He allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5 in 3 innings work. Starter Josh Butler allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, with 5 Ks in 6 innings work. He was relieved by Chris Kelly, who pitch 3 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 3.
Royster's 12th inning double was his only hit of the night, but it came when needed most, as did De La Rosa's single ... also his only hit of the night ... that scored the insurance run in the 12th.
Suarez also made the most of his 2 hits. His 1st inning single and his 7th inning double each scored a run. Matulia also had 2 hits, and scored twice on the night.
With the win, the Catfish have tied their longest winning streak of the season at 3 games, and have beaten a team 3 times in a row for the 1st time this season. The win also guarantees a series win with Rome. The Catfish had split each of the first 4 series with Kannapolis, Greenville, Asheville, and Augusta.
After one more game with Rome on Tuesday night, the Catfish have a day off, then head to Charleston for 4 games, before returning home to Columbus on the 30th.
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