4/23/18

Columbia 5 - Hickory 0

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COLUMBIA, SC – 2016 Mets first-round pick Anthony Kay was dominate in his third professional start on Sunday afternoon. The southpaw logged six scoreless innings and posted five strikeouts. Columbia blanked Hickory 5-0 in the series finale – the first shut-out victory of the season. The Fireflies split the four-game installment with the Crawdads and witnessed more than 4,000 fans at each of the four games at Spirit Communications Park.

Kay absorbed just three hits over his six innings on the mound. The 23-year-old has lasted six frames in two of his first three previous starts. Kay’s impressive performance translated over to Columbia’s (11-6) bullpen. Carlos Hernandez flashed two scoreless innings and registered three strikeouts. Since joining the team, Hernandez has not allowed a run in 8.1 frames. Trey Cobb pitched a perfect ninth inning and had one strikeout.

The Fireflies pounced on the visitors in the first inning. Blake Tiberi reached on an infield single with one out. Matt Winaker knocked in Tiberi on a triple that was smoked down the right-field line. Winaker became the seventh different Firefly to record at least one three-bagger already this season. Columbia leads the league with 11 triples. Later in the frame, Jeremy Vasquez drove in Winaker on an RBI groundout and the home team led 2-0.

Columbia added an additional run in the fourth, sixth, and seventh innings. Rigoberto Terrazas scored on an error from Hickory’s (6-10) third baseman Justin Jacobs in the fourth. Terrazas did more damage in the sixth with single to begin the frame. After Ali Sanchez doubled, Scott Manea smashed a single into centerfield and scored Terrazas. During this play, Sanchez rounded third base too far and was tagged out, but the Fireflies still led 4-0. Tiberi, Winaker, Vasquez all walked to start the seventh. Quinn Brodey plated Tiberi with an RBI groundout, his 11th of the season. 

Tiberi and Vasquez each walked three times in this game. Vasquez has 18 walks this season, which leads the South Atlantic League. The Floridian has been on base all 16 games he has played in this year. Meanwhile, Tiberi has reached base in every home game (11).

Reid Anderson (1-2) tossed six innings as the starter for the Crawdads. The righty yielded four runs on eight hits. Prior to this outing, Anderson sported a 0.71 ERA in his first three appearances on the hill.

Columbia begins a seven-game road trip on Monday night in Charleston, South Carolina. The Fireflies clash with the RiverDogs at 7:05 at Joe Riley Park. Righty Chris Viall (1-0, 2.00) is scheduled to start for Columbia. Rony Garcia (0-1, 5.06) is on the mound for the RiverDogs. 

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