Columbia Fireflies Game Notes vs Kannapolis
The Fireflies play their penultimate game of the season tonight vs the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers at 6:35 pm at Segra Park. RHP Luinder Avila (2-3, 3.63 ERA) toes the rubber for Columbia and Kannapolis counters with righty Matt Thompson (1-9, 6.42 ERA).
Tonight is Wands and Wizards night at Segra Park! Hop aboard the train to our magical castle where we will have butter beer for sale, wands available at guest services, a Platform 9 3/4 social media photo op and a magical fireworks show to close out the evening. Get your letters to Segra Park at FirefliesTickets.com.
FIREFLIES SWEPT BY CANNON BALLERS IN TWIN BILL: The Fireflies dropped both games of Friday's doubleheader with the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 9-3 and 3-1, respectively, but the story of the night was a two-hour rain delay that hit during game one, spurning the two teams to play deep into the night. Game One Both teams put up early offense. Columbia started with a trio of runs in the bottom of the first. After Kannapolis walked Diego Hernandez and Peyton Wilson, Herard Gonzalez split the right-center gap for an RBI double. Next, Brooks Gosswein tossed two wild pitches to give Columbia a 3-0 lead. That lead didn't hold. In the top of the second Misael Gonzalez hit a three-run blast to tie the game prior to the 2:07 rain delay at Segra Park. Following the delay, it was all Cannon Ballers. The Knock-out inning came in the sixth, with Heribert Garcia and Marlin Wallace on the bump. Game Two Kannapolis's Andrew Dalquist stifled Columbia in the second contest. Dalquist worked five scoreless innings, allowing only a single hit before giving the ball to Martin Carrasco (S, 1) who closed down the final two innings, allowing the fireflies lone run to score on Gonzalez's seventh homer of the season.
GOING FOR THE HOUSE CUP: Fireflies outfielder Juan Carlos Negret has established himself as an all-or-nothing hitter during the 2021 campaign. The slugger leads the Low-A East League with 23 homers, which is the most in a single season in Fireflies history. He trails just Dash Winningham, who hit 25 homers between the 2016 and 2017 campaigns for the most all-time homers in Fireflies history. Negret has also done an excellent job at producing RBI this season. Despite having a sub-.200 batting average, Negret has driven in 76 RBI, which is good for the second-best in the league in the 2021 campaign. He only trails Charleston's Diego Infante, who has sent home 80 RBI for the RiverDogs this season.
ANYTHING OFF THE TROLLEY DEARS?: The Fireflies have been given plenty of opportunities to score runs in the first three games of this series, but they are just 2-19 (.105) with runners threatening since Tuesday. In just yesterday's pair of games, Columbia left seven runners on the base paths.
GETTING SORTED IN THE RIGHT HOUSE: Of all the new pitchers Columbia has gotten in the last month, Anthony Simonelli has made the best first impression. The righty has allowed only a single run to score in his first eight innings with the team. In that time, he has also punched out 12 hitters. He continued his hot stretch Sunday against Augusta when he spun three hitless innings with a pair of strikeouts.
AVADA KEDAVRA ALCANTARA: Fireflies righty Adrian Alcantara has had his way with the swing and miss stuff this season, punching out 95 hitters. The 95 strikeouts are the most for a Fireflies pitcher this season, although Rylan Kaufman is close by with 91. Alcantara notched seven strikeouts in 3.2 innings in his second appearance of the season vs the Cannon Ballers. His first appearance he wrung up eight Kannapolis hitters in just three innings.
MISCHIEF MANAGED: The Fireflies are playing their penultimate game tonight at Segra Park at 6:35 pm. Tomorrow the gates open at 4 pm and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive an antique tin Fireflies sign. Following the game kids can run the bases thanks to Adventure Flight Park.
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