Tyler Austin's three-run ninth inning home run gave the RiverDogs (7-3) a dramatic 7-5 victory over the Rome Braves (2-8) in front of 3,789 at State Mutual Stadium. The win meant that the RiverDogs had taken three out of four from Rome and assured them of a hold on first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division.
Austin's (2-4, HR, 3 RBIs, run scored) homer came with two outs in the top of the ninth and put Charleston back in front after Rome had taken the lead in the previous inning. Rome got the first two outs of the inning before Cito Culver walked and Gary Sanchez singled. Pitcher John Cornely (0-1) then entered the game for Rome and that set the stage for Austin's third long ball in four games. Pedro Guerra finished the game with a perfect ninth for his second save.
Charleston's rally was made all the more dramatic because Rome had just taken the lead for the first time in the game. Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Rome loaded the bases with two outs and Manager Carlos Mendoza brought in Mariel Checo (1-0) to replace reliever Fred Lewis. The Braves scored one run on a walk, then went ahead on a three RBI double by Kurt Fleming (3-4, 3 RBI).
RiverDogs starter Will Oliver did not get a decision despite allowing just one run on three hits and three walks with five strikeouts in six innings.
Charleston now moves on to Augusta to start a three-game series with the GreenJackets. They will send Jose Campos (2-0 0.00 ERA) to the mound for game one against Augusta's Edwin Escobar (1-0 0.00 ERA).