Fireflies Claim Series Opener over Drive on Tuesday
COLUMBIA, SC - The Fireflies took down the Drive 6-4 in the series opener on Tuesday night at Spirit Communications Park. Tony Dibrell (W, 5-5) continued his second-half success on the mound. The righty flashed 5.2 innings, allowed just two runs, had zero walks, and struck out six batters. In eight second-half starts, Dibrell hasn't absorbed more than two earned runs in seven of these outings and holds a 2.49 ERA.
Down 2-0, Columbia scored six runs from the third to the fifth inning. Hansel Moreno charged up the third frame with a one-out triple. Matt Winaker knocked in Moreno with an RBI groundout.
In the fourth, Gio Alfonzo and Jose Brizuela - two former teammates at Florida State - sparked the offense with a pair of singles. Dionis Paulino, with runners at first and second, smacked a base hit into shallow center field. Alfonzo scored easily and while Brizuela rushed to third, Greenville's Kervin Suarez threw wide of the bag. Brizuela hustled towards home plate and arrived safely just ahead of the tag. Paulino ended up at third on Suarez's throwing error. Carlos Sanchez brought in Paulino with an RBI groundout. The Fireflies led 4-2 after four frames.
Zach Rheams extended the offensive surge into the fifth stanza. The 22-year-old singled with one out. A couple of lengthy at-bats from the Fireflies helped apply more pressure to Greenville's starter Jhonathan Diaz (L, 7-8). Alfonzo worked a nine-pitch walk and the next batter, Brizuela, singled on the 10th pitch to right field. Once Jarren Duran fielded Brizuela's single in right, while Rheams rounded third, he chucked the ball passed home plate. Rheams scored on the error. Brizuela and Alfonzo moved up to second and third respectively on that same play. After the home team chased Diaz from the game, Alfonzo added the second run of the inning when relief pitcher Dominic LoBrutto balked. Columbia held a 6-2 edge through five.
Greenville threatened when it shrunk Columbia's lead down to two with a pair of runs in the eighth (6-4, Fireflies). However, Carlos Hernandez (S, 4) closed the door with a five-out save (1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K).
THE STREAK: Winaker extended his on-base streak to 18 games with a double in the first inning. This is the third-longest on-base streak from a Firefly this season.
Jeremy Vasquez, 29 (April 5-May 6)
Raphael Gladu, 28 (May 2-June 9)
Matt Winaker, 18 (July 19-pres)
The Fireflies and Drive play game two of this series on Wednesday night at Spirit Communications Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and you can listen to the action starting at 6:45 on FOX SPORTS Radio 1400 AM or online at columbiafireflies.com. The game is also available to watch live on MiLB.tv. RHP Zac Grotz (1-4, 5.89) starts for Columbia and faces RHP Eduard Bazardo who makes his Drive debut.
• Discuss this story on the South Atlantic League message board...
South Atlantic League Stories from August 7, 2018
- Fireflies Claim Series Opener over Drive on Tuesday - Columbia Fireflies
- Hoppers Zap Power in Storm-Shortened Game - Greensboro Grasshoppers
- Drive Defeated by Fireflies on Tuesday Night - Greenville Drive
- Martinez Dazzles in RiverDogs Debut, Suffers Loss to Lakewood - Charleston RiverDogs
- Five-Run First Inning Buries Power in Rain-Shortened Loss - West Virginia Power
- 'Birds Lambast Braves in Opener - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Seven Run Fourth Inning Leads Delmarva to Win, 11-3 - Rome Braves
- Phillips K's 13 as 'Dads Shutout Kannapolis - Hickory Crawdads
- Howard, BlueClaws Open Series at Charleston 2-1 Winners - Lakewood BlueClaws
- Hagerstown Doesn't Bring the Sun - Augusta GreenJackets
- Fireflies Roster Move and Game Notes: August 7 vs. Greenville (Game 110) - Columbia Fireflies
- GreenJackets Name 2018 Hall of Fame Inductee - Augusta GreenJackets
- Preview: Hoppers Back at Home - Greensboro Grasshoppers
- West Virginia Power: Game Notes (August 7) - West Virginia Power
- Former Third-Round Selection Martinez Joins RiverDogs from Staten Island - Charleston RiverDogs
- Columbia Fireflies Homestand Highlights (August 7-13) - Columbia Fireflies
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.