4/25/18

Columbia Loses Doubleheader to Charleston

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CHARLESTON, SC – Columbia first baseman Jeremy Vasquez tallied four hits and drove in a pair of runs in Tuesday’s double header in Charleston. The lefty slugger recorded hits in both games which extended his on-base streak to a new franchise record 18 games in a row. Vasquez and the Fireflies dropped both games of the twin bill, though, at Joe Riley Park.

Vasquez ripped one of his three doubles on Tuesday in game two, a game in which the Fireflies fell by a final of 2-1. The Floridian drove in that run in the sixth inning (Blake Tiberi walked earlier in the frame and later came around to score on Vasquez’s groundout).

Columbia (11-8) would’ve been in business had Charleston (9-10) not scored two early runs. Those were the only blemishes on a Chris Viall (L, 1-1)starting pitching line that featured 12 strikeouts. The 12 Ks tied a single-game franchise record. Jordan Humphreys set that mark – ironically enough – one year ago today when the right-hander fanned 12 Asheville Tourists hitters. Viall had just set his career-high in strikeouts eight days ago with 11 against Greenville and followed that performance up with a dozen more.

Eduardo Navas and Chris Hess were responsible for the two RBI singles in the second and third innings respectively to give the home team all the run support it needed. Nick Nelson (W, 1-1) scattered just three over five scoreless innings and earned the win.

In game one, the visitors fell behind 3-0 after two frames. Matt Winaker drilled an RBI double to put the Fireflies on the board in the top of the fourth, only to watch Ricardo Ferreira plate Jason Lopez in the bottom half to give the RiverDogs another three-run cushion.

Remarkably, Columbia answered back and pulled ahead with a three-run fifth inning. It started when Tiberi worked a one-out walk. Moments later, Winaker drilled a triple down the right-field line that scored Tiberi. This was the first of three straight extra-base hits. Vasquez would next double in Winaker, and Quinn Brodey ripped an RBI two-bagger of his own.

After Hess reached base to begin the bottom of the fifth, he moved to second on an error and was in scoring position for Lopez later in the frame. The Charleston catcher delivered a run-scoring base hit to tie the game at 5-5.           

The game stayed square into the eighth inning (which was the first “extra inning” of the seven-inning tilt). Columbia had the go-ahead run thrown out at the plate and came away empty-handed in the top of the eighth. With two out and a man on base in the bottom half, Wilkerman Garcia smashed a two-run walk-off homer to clinch the 7-5 win for the home team.

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