Fireflies Bats Go Quiet in Opener against West Virginia
CHARLESTON, WV - Columbia bussed into Charleston with quite a bit of confidence after winning back to back series at home. The Fireflies had just swept the RiverDogs in a doubleheader on Sunday, but West Virginia's pitchers quickly silenced a hot Columbia offense in the opener at Appalachian Power Park. It was Clay Chandler's night as the righty hurled seven scoreless innings and defeated the Mets affiliate, 5-0.
Chandler (W, 8-5) allowed just three hits and the right-hander has now bested Columbia (13-12, 37-53) twice. He allowed just two hits in five shut-out innings against the Fireflies on April 22. On Monday, he lasted seven. Chandler hasn't so much as walked a hitter in his 12 innings against the Fireflies.
Ronny Mauricio and Wagner Lagrange's doubles and Gerson Molina's single proved to be the only hits for the visitors on Monday. The Fireflies now sit a game behind Rome for first place in the second-half Southern Division standings.
Columbia starter Christian James (L, 3-8) allowed runs to West Virginia (12-13, 49-46) in the first and third innings but then stabilized in the middle frames. At one point the Floridian retired seven straight Power batters. James allowed a two-run homer to Austin Shenton in the sixth, though, that broke the game open and gave the home team a 4-0 advantage.
Reliever Cole Gordon was a bright spot for the Fireflies on Monday. The righty pitched two innings and did not allow a run. Gordon punched out four hitters. In total, James, Gordon and Allan Winans struck out 11 hitters and walked just one.
Bottom 1: Ryan Ramiz triples and scores on Mike Salvatore's sacrifice fly to center field. WV 1, COL 0
Bottom 3: Ramiz slashes a solo home run over the right-field wall. WV 2, COL 0
Bottom 6: Austin Shenton hits two-run home run over the right-center field wall. WV 4, COL 0
Bottom 7: Julio Rodriguez scores from second on Bobby Honeyman's single up the middle. WV 5, COL 0
Game two of the series begins at 7:05 ET on Tuesday evening from Appalachian Power Park. Righty Tylor Megill (3-1, 1.48) is scheduled to start for the Fireflies and face Power right-hander Ryne Inman (7-6, 4.79). You can tune into the action at FirefliesLiveStream.com.
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