Columbia Fireflies Game Notes vs Kannapolis
The Columbia Fireflies begin their final game of the 2021 season at 5:05 pm at Segra Park. For the first time this year, it'll be RHP Anthony Simonelli (0-0, 1.13 ERA) climbing the bump for the Fireflies and Kannapolis will throw RHP Sean Burke (0-1, 4.09 ERA).
Gates for tonight's contest open at 4 pm, and you won't want to be late. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free Fireflies antique tin sign! You'll want to stick around afterwards too because for the last time this year, kids can run the bases thanks to Flight Adventure Park. Tickets are available at FirefliesTickets.com.
COLUMBIA'S BATS SILENT IN 3-1 LOSS TO BALLERS: The Fireflies rough September continued as they dropped Saturday's contest 3-1 to the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers at Segra Park to fall to 1-14 throughout the month. Kannapolis (39-79) started the scoring off in the first inning. The lead-off hitter Caberea Weaver singled and was driven in by a Bryan Ramos base knock to make the score 1-0. Then the Cannon Ballers added on a pair in the fourth when Shawn Goosenberg drove a double to right field that plated DJ Gladney and Chase Krogman. Luinder Avila (L, 2-4) ceded all four of the runs across four innings. After that, the bullpen was flawless. Dario Peralta didn't allow a hit through three frames and Patrick Halligan closed out the contest with two scoreless innings. The Fireflies (48-70) scored their only run with some two out magic in the eighth. Burle Dixon and Herard Gonzalez hit back-to-back two out singles before Dixon came home on a wild pitch from reliever Kohl Simas.
TRYING FOR THE RECORD: 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.
IS THIS THING ON?: 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.
FEELING RIGHT AT HOME: 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.
THE K IS FOR 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.
ONE LAST RIDE: The Fireflies close out their season today at 5:05 against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Fireflies antique tin sign and following the game, kids will be allowed to run the bases for the final time this season. Thanks for tagging along in 2021 and stay tuned for updates on the 2022 campaign in the near future. For all your upcoming Fireflies information visit ColumbiaFireflies.com.
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