Eight of the nine Columbia hitters reached base safely duringnight’s 6-4 victory over the Drive at Fluor Field. The Fireflies never trailed, and have taken two of the first three games in the series.
Columbia (17-14) can win its second four-game series in Greenville (15-15) this seasonafternoon. With the win, the Fireflies remain just 3.5 games behind the Southern Division-leading Charleston RiverDogs.
The Fireflies used a patient approach at the plate in the top of the second frame to get out ahead of their foes. Dash Winningham andJoe Tuschak drew back-to-back walks off of starter Marc Brakeman (L, 1-2). Milton Ramos’ double to deep centerfield plated Winningham and then Tuschak tagged and scored from third base when the next hitter, Tyler Moore, flew out to center field.
Columbia wasn’t done. In the third, J.C. Rodriguez led off with a single and moved over to second base when Kevin Kaczmarski walked. The next two batters struck out, but Winningham provided the big hit with two outs. The first baseman slugged a two-bagger down the right-field line that cleared the bases. The visitors led, 4-0.
The Fireflies lead was stretched to 5-0 in the fourth when Rodriguez drove in Moore after the catcher doubled to start the frame.
The home half of the fourth was when Greenville started chipping away at the lead, tagging Chase Ingram (W, 3-2) for two runs. The righty battled out of the jam and worked into the sixth inning. He allowed the first two batters he faced to reach before Manager Jose Leger lifted the starter. Tyler Bashlor entered from the bullpen, but surrendered a base hit to Austin Rei that scored Josh Ockimey and hurled a wild pitch to the backstop that enabled Kyri Washington to jog home. Columbia’s five-run lead was down to a run.
The insurance came in the top of the eighth. David Thompson doubled and Ramos – mimicking what he had done in the second inning – belted another two-bagger to put his team in front, 6-4.
Fireflies reliever Alex Palsha (S, 3) then pitched a scoreless inning and two-thirds of work to close the game out and pick up his third save of the season.