Walk-off homer wins rain-delayed game

A rain delay of 1 hour, 41 minutes made for a long night at Lake Olmstead Stadium. With the game tied for all but one swing of the final five innings, the Augusta GreenJackets and Rome Braves threatened to make it even longer.

But GreenJackets designated hitter Andy D’Alessio prevented extra innings with that one swing. He sent the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth over the left center-field wall for a walk-off homer in a 5-4 GreenJackets victory.

After scoring one run in each of the first four innings, the GreenJackets’ lead slipped away with a Rome run in the third and three more in the fifth.

D’Alessio, who went 4-for-5 on the night, ended the stalemate with his first home run of the season as a GreenJacket. The blast came off Rome reliever David Francis, who was starting his fourth inning of work when he gave up the game-winner.

Rome starter Zeke Spruill, making his first appearance in 12 days, gave up four runs, three earned, on 10 hits in five innings.

GreenJackets starter Eric Stolp nearly equalled the effort when he lasted 4-plus innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on four hits and four walks.

Three Augusta relievers shut out the Braves over the final four innings. Chris Wilson and Justin Fitzgerald each gave up two hits and struck out two, while Edwin Quirarte got the win by pitching a scoreless top of the ninth inning.

Two GreenJackets batters joined D’Alessio in turning in multi-hit performances. Leadoff man Charlie Culberson (3-for-4) scored the first run of the game after a double and stolen base put hit at third for Dom Duggan’s grounder in the first.

Catcher Matt Klimas went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in the third and fifth innings.

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