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Stephens Sends Braves Home Happy With Walk-Off Homer

Landon Stephens and the Rome Braves celebrate his walk-off home run in a win over the Winston-Salem Dash on May 12th. (Mills Fitzner)
May 12, 2022

ROME, GA - The Rome Braves and Winston-Salem Dash would meet for game three of six on Thursday night with Luis De Avila getting the starting nod for the Braves, and Jordan Mikel on the bump for the Dash. Rome would look to match their longest win streak of the

ROME, GA - The Rome Braves and Winston-Salem Dash would meet for game three of six on Thursday night with Luis De Avila getting the starting nod for the Braves, and Jordan Mikel on the bump for the Dash. Rome would look to match their longest win streak of the year at three, and clinch a split of the series with Winston-Salem.

Rome would get on the board quickly thanks to an unconventional sacrifice fly from Landon Stephens. On a full count, Stephens would sky a pop-up just in front of the Braves dugout but just within reach of third baseman Bryan Ramos. With both the third baseman and catcher crashing in for the foul ball out, the Dash infield neglected to cover home plate. A heads up tag-up play from a speedy Vaughn Grissom would see him cross the unguarded plate, score the game's first run, and put the Braves out in front.

Luis De Avila would get into a rhythm on the mound, going six full innings while only giving up one hit, one walk, and six strikeouts. De Avila's scoreless outing would lower his season earned run average to 4.30. Once De Avila called it a night, he would make way for Trey Riley. Riley would get a quick out on a leaping grab from shortstop Beau Philip, then surrender the lead on a loud solo homer from Luis Curbelo. Winston-Salem would take the lead on a Moises Castillo single in the top of the eighth that scored Duke Ellis.

Alec Barger would take over in the top half of the ninth inning and pull off one of the rarest feats in all of baseball. Barger would notch an immaculate inning, striking out the side on nine pitches. Barger's perfection would set the stage for Landon Stephens. To start the bottom of the ninth, Justyn-Henry Malloy would single on a line drive to right field. Cue Landon Stephens. On a 1-0 count, Landon Stephens would wallop a ball into the woods just beyond the left field wall. Stephens's tenth long ball of the year would send the Braves home happy by a final score of three runs to two.

The Braves and Dash will pick right back up tomorrow night for game four, looking to clinch a series win. Roddery Munoz will get the starting nod for the Braves.