Debora Spectacular, Rheams Wins It with Base Hit in 10th
COLUMBIA, SC - Zach Rheams delivered the game-winning hit in the 10th inning on Sunday afternoon and propelled Columbia to a 2-1 victory over Delmarva. The Fireflies snapped a four-game losing streak and also won their seventh game in walk-off fashion this season (three of which against the Shorebirds).
Hansel Moreno was the runner placed at second base to begin the bottom of the 10th (as per the new Minor League Baseball extra-inning regulation) against reliever Diogenes Almengo (L, 1-1). Almengo - in his first inning of work - walked Matt Winaker and plunked Scott Manea to load the bases. Rheams then poked a pitch down the left-field line that easily scored Moreno. The former Texas Tech Red Raider finished with three hits on the day.
Columbia's (53-62) stayed in the ballgame due to its pitching. Nicolas Debora logged seven fantastic innings - tying his longest outing of his career. But that wasn't all. The Dominican allowed just four base-runners and struck out a new career-high 10 batters. Conner O'Neil (W, 6-0) was just as scintillating on the hill. The reliever tossed three scoreless frames out of the 'pen, including a one-two-three top of the 10th. O'Neil also became the first Firefly reliever to win six games in a season.
The Fireflies fell behind 1-0 in the fourth when Delmarva's (59-56) Brandon Becker doubled in a run. Columbia answered quickly in the fifth. Moreno - hitting left-handed - drilled a solo home run over the right-field wall, his fifth of the season. Moreno later singled as a righty in the seventh. The switch-hitter has been the steadist hitter for the Fireflies over the last two months. Since June 8, Moreno has hit .276, a team-best among current Fireflies.
David Miranda also tallied two more hits on Sunday. That makes three straight two-hit games for the outfielder.
Columbia and Delmarva finish up the series on Monday at 7:05 ET. Right-hander Tony Dibrell (5-5, 3.16) faces the Shorebirds' righty Brenan Hanifee (7-5, 2.92) in the finale.
You can watch the action on MiLB.TV or listen in on FOX Sports Radio 1400 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the iHeartRadio app starting at 6:45 p.m.
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South Atlantic League Stories from August 12, 2018
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