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Fireflies Game Notes - May 17 at Rome (Game 41)

May 17, 2019 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Columbia Fireflies News Release

Columbia Fireflies (15-25) @ Rome Braves (19-21)

RHP S. Woods-Richardson (0-5, 6.56) vs. RHP Odalvi Javier (1-2, 5.04)

Fri., May 17, 2019 - State Mutual Stadium (Rome, GA) - First Pitch 7:00 p.m. - Game 41

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LAST TIME OUT: Columbia picked up a series win in Augusta on Thursday thanks to a dramatic late-inning rally. The Fireflies entered the ninth inning trailing by three, but put together five runs in the final frame to come out on top. Mark Vientos hit a two-run bomb to left to ignite the comeback. Later in the inning, Chandler Avant drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-run single, and Ronny Mauricio provided insurance with an RBI single of his own.

THRICE AS NICE: The two-run single by Avant in the ninth was not the only hit the Alabama native had in Thursday night's victory. The Fireflies utility man also had base hits in the third and eighth innings. Since being recalled to Columbia on May 6th, Avant is hitting .313, a team-best by Fireflies hitters during that span.

GETTING CRAFTY: Andrew Mitchell may describe himself as a "crafty" lefty, but that's not a knock on his stuff on the mound. The southpaw reliever has tossed seven consecutive scoreless innings out of the pen, while striking out 12 and only allowing two hits during the streak.

HOT STREAK: After a 9-23 start to the season, the Fireflies enter tonight's contest in Rome winning six of their last eight games, including a double-header sweep against Rome last Monday. The Fireflies have a 7-2 record against the Braves thus far this season, and have yet to drop a series against Rome.

FOLLOW THE LAW: Keith Law, senior baseball writer at ESPN, ranked Columbia's roster as the 7th-most "Loaded Roster" in all of Minor League Baseball. Law recognized the fact Columbia's roster includes the Mets' third, fourth and fifth-rated prospects (infielders Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos and Shervyen Newton, respectively), New York's past two second-round draft choices (RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson, Vientos) and the system's ninth-rated prospect, left-hander Thomas Szapucki (drafted in the fifth round in 2015). The roster also features 26th (Baseball America) and 27th-rated prospects Chris Viall and Christian James. The prospect rankings are according to unless otherwise noted.

NEW STAFF: Fireflies second-year manager Pedro Lopez notwithstanding, Columbia has an entirely different coaching staff in 2019. Former big leaguer and Mets pitcher Royce Ring assumes the role as pitching coach and former Eastern League champion Luis Rivera is the new hitting coach. One-time Mets farmhand (and former player for Lopez in Binghamton in 2014) Gilbert Gomez is the team's first-ever bench coach. Daichi Arima (athletic trainer), Sam Nickelsen (strength and conditioning coach), Nicole Collins (assistant athletic trainer) and Dave Williams (mental skills coach) complete the Fireflies coaching staff in 2019.

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