Four Fireflies hitters collected two-hit games afternoon, but Columbia fell to the Rome Braves in the series finale, 8-5. Kevin Kaczmarski, David Thompson, Joe Tuschak and Vicente Lupo combined to reach base safely ten times.
Rome (15-24) used a hit parade in the second inning to score six runs on seven hits, including doubles from Jonathan Morales and Austin Riley. Columbia (20-19) reliever Craig Missigman replaced Thomas McIlraith (L, 1-4) and closed out the half inning with consecutive putouts. The right-hander from Charlotte, North Carolina, registered 3.2 innings out of the bullpen and allowed just two hits and no runs.
The bats started clicking for the home team in the third inning against Braves starter Patrick Weigel (W, 2-3). Lupo punched a single to left field. Two batters later, Thompson scorched a double down the left-field line to put the Fireflies on the board.
Columbia chipped into the deficit again in the fourth. The newest member of the Fireflies, Patrick Mazeika, walked to start the frame. The eighth-round pick of the 2015 Mets draft class finished 1-for-4 with a run scored in his 2016 debut. Mazeika was activated off of Columbia’s disabled list . Milton Ramos followed and ripped a double to the left-center field alley to plate Mazeika all the way from first base. The Fireflies trailed, 6-2, after five innings.
The rally resumed in the sixth. Kaczmarski tagged a double into left-center to plate Tuschak from first. The Braves’ lead was cut in half, 6-3.
Rome countered, though, by adding insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings to protect the lead. Columbia managed to push across two more runs in the last of the eighth, but that was all.