Columbia 7 - Greenville 5


GREENVILLE, SC – The Fireflies offense erupted again on Tuesday night in Greenville, springing for 11 hits in a 7-5 victory over the Drive. Columbia has taken the first two games of the series and goes for the sweep – and a 5-1 road trip – with a win on Wednesday.

Columbia’s (8-4) batting order could not be stopped on Tuesday and at one point the visitors scored in six consecutive frames (from the second to the seventh). The 11 hits gives the Fireflies 51 during the first five games of the road trip. Pedro Lopez’s team leads the South Atlantic League in batting average (.283) and total hits (115).

The Fireflies jumped ahead 4-0 after three and a half innings. The scoring began in the second when Quinn Brodey ripped a triple and scored moments later on Rigoberto Terrazas’ssingle. The club plated two more in the third, and inning highlighted by Blake Tiberi’s screaming line-drive RBI single.

In the fourth, Raphael Gladu reached against Greenville (3-9) starter Jhonathan Diaz (L, 1-1) and then Giovanney Alfonso stepped to the plate. The infielder bashed his second double of the night and third straight dating back to his final at-bat in the ninth inning on Monday. The two-bagger scored Gladu and Columbia went ahead 4-0.

The Drive cut the deficit in half with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Fireflies answered right back in the fifth. This time, Brodey drove in his first of two runs, the other RBI coming in the seventh. Columbia’s centerfielder is on a gigantic tear: he’s compiled 10 hits in the first five games of the road trip and has raised his batting average to .310.

In the sixth, Scott Manea scored the loudest run of the evening by bashing a 402-foot home run (his first of the season) over the left-center field wall.

The home team struck back with two more scores in the seventh and another in the eighth. The tying run sat at first base when Columbia manager Pedro Lopez called on side-arm right-hander Stephen Villines out of the bullpen. Villines retired Samuel Miranda to end the inning, and then struck out the side in order in the ninth to secure the win (and his first save of the year).

Villines, starter Marcel Renteria (W, 1-1), Nicolas Debora and Joshua Payne combined to punch out 13 more Drive hitters. This follows the franchise-record tying 17 punchouts Columbia pitchers totaled in the series opener against Greenville on Monday night. Fireflies pitchers lead the league – by a wide margin – with 130 Ks.    

Renteria was particularly sharp on the mound, allowing just two runs over 5.1 IP and fanning seven hitters on his own.

Another Tuesday night nugget: all nine Columbia hitters reached base safely.

The Fireflies aim for their first series sweep of the season with a win Wednesday over Greenville at Fluor Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 ET and you can listen to the action of the game on FOX Sports Radio 1400 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 6:45 p.m.


Thomas Brennan said...

Hi pick Brodey is starting to roll!

Starter Marcel Renteria is starting to roll as well.

Villines may not throw hard but he sure can fan guys.

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