4/22/18

Hickory 4 - Columbia 1

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Scott Manea’s 415-foot solo home run was an impressive sight on Saturday night, but not quite enough to lift the Fireflies to victory. Hickory defeated Columbia, 4-1, at Spirit Communications Park. The Fireflies must win on Sunday to split the four-game series.

Manea’s blast was off of Crawdads starter Jean Casanova (W, 1-1) in the fifth inning. Up until that point, Columbia (10-6) had trouble figuring out the righty who surrendered just one hit before the Manea homer. The Fireflies wound up with a season-low three hits when it was all said and done.

The home run cut into a 3-0 lead Hickory (6-9) had built earlier in the fifth frame. Jake Simon had hurled 4.2 scoreless innings before allowing a single to Miguel Aparicio, an RBI double to Yohel Pozo and then a two-run homer to Melvin Novoa.

Simon was lifted after five innings and reliever Aaron Ford – making his 2018 debut – chucked two shut-out innings. The lefty struck a batter out and faced the minimum over those two innings.

Columbia’s offense remained quiet and the Crawdads added another score in the top of the ninth. Kole Enright doubled and then scored when Yonny Hernandez ripped a two-bagger down the left-field line.

Jeremy Vasquez walked in the bottom of the ninth – extending his SAL-best on-base streak to 14 straight games – but could not score.

The series finale between Columbia and Hickory is scheduled for Sunday at 2:05 p.m. Southpaw Anthony Kay (0-0, 2.70) makes his third start of the year and toes the rubber against Crawdads righty Reid Anderson (1-1, 0.71).

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