Columbia 6 - Hickory 3


Press Release -

COLUMBIA, SC – Columbia evened its four-game series against the Hickory Crawdads with a 6-3 victory on Friday night at Spirit Communications Park. Starting pitcher Joe Cavallaro allowed just two hits and struck out six batters en route to his second win of the year in just three starts. Columbia remains tied for first place in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander has perhaps been the most consistent Fireflies starter. Cavallaro (W, 2-0) has logged at least six innings in all three outings, limited opponents to two or fewer earned runs and has recorded 18 strikeouts (in 19 IP). The Floridian’s ERA is a miniscule 1.42.

After falling in the series opener on Thursday, the home team jumped ahead 3-0 in the second inning on Friday, over-whelming Hickory (5-9) starter A.J. Alexy (L, 0-1). With two outs, the right-hander imploded by first walking Ali Sanchez and then allowing a base hit to Raphael Gladu. The 22-year-old outfielder Walter Rasquin plated both his teammates with a double. Moments later, Edgardo Fermin kept the hit parade alive with a base hit of his own. The run-scoring single put Columbia (10-5) ahead, 3-0.

Cavallaro allowed two unearned runs in the top of the third and watched the three-run lead slice to just one. The hitters stood behind their starter and added to the slim advantage with a score in the bottom of the fifth. This time, Matt Winaker and Jeremy Vasquez vaulted back-to-back doubles. With the hit, Vasquez’s on-base streak stretched even further to a league-best 14 straight.

The bottom of the sixth inning featured more of the same. With the bases loaded, Blake Tiberi smoked a single into right field that scored Gladu. Later Winaker’s sacrifice fly brought Rasquin in from third base. Columbia’s lead had grown to 6-2.

The Crawdads eighth-inning comeback attempt was futile. The visitors plated one run, but were over-matched by reliever Joshua Payne. The right-hander fanned five in just two innings.

Stephen Villines then earned his second save of the season with a clean ninth. Over his last four outings, the side-arm righty has punched out 12 hitters (in 6.1 IP) and has allowed just one – one! – baserunner.

The large strikeout totals are becoming a nightly routine. Columbia hurlers punched out 12 more on Friday and have struck out 67 batters over the last five games. On the other side of the box score, Fireflies hitters tallied nine more hits, increasing the total to 83 over the last eight.

Columbia and Hickory meet again on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Southpaw Jake Simon (0-2, 2.45) starts his third game of the year for the Fireflies and faces Crawdads’ righty Jean Casanova (0-1, 3.00).


Thomas Brennan said...

This guy Cavallaro has been impressive.

Mack's Mets © 2012