After opening the season with three straight losses, and 6 losses in their first 8 games, the Columbus Catfish rebound continues. The Catfish beat the Rome Braves 6-3 tonight, to improve their record to 6-7, their 4th win in 5 games.
Rome jumped out to an early lead, scoring single runs in each of the first three innings.
The Catfish tied it up in the bottom of the third. With 1 out, LF Shawn Williams singled and moved to second when SS Omar Luna walked. CF Emeel Salem picked up two RBIs on a double down the left field line. 2B Cody Cipriano follwed with a walk. A double steal put both runners in scoring position, and Salem scored on a ground out by RF Maiko Loyola, tying the game at 3.
Things stayed knotted up until the 6th inning, when Loyola hit his 2nd home run of the season, a high fly ball that dropped over the wall in right-center, putting the Catfish up 4-3.
The 8th inning saw the Catfish extend the lead. With 1 out, 3B Greg Sexton walked, then scored on C Stephen Vogt's double to center that got away from Rome CF Carlos Lee. Vogt didn't get the RBI, but the run was earned, because, with 2 outs, 1B Henry Wrigley singled, scoring Vogt from second, and making it 6-3, Catfish.
The Catfish bullpen did a great job of shutting down Rome. Starter Glenn Gibson went 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits, striking out a pair. Reliever Christopher Fessler pitched 2 innings, allowing a double by Columbus/Phenix City native Adam Coe in the 6th inning, hitting one batter, walking another, striking out a pair, and picking up the win, his first of the year.
Brian Flores pitched 2 perfect innings, striking out 5 of the 6 batters he faced. Travis Risser set down the 3 Rome batters in the 9th inning to pick up his 3rd save.
Salem was the only Catfish batter to have more than 1 hit, a single and a double. He had 2 RBIs. Loyola had a pair of RBIs.
The short, 2-game series with Rome ends tomorrow night. SAL Pitcher of the Week Jason Ragan is scheduled to be on the mound for the Catfish, squaring off against Rome left-hander Eric Barrett.