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Fireflies Game Notes - May 20 at ROM (Game 44)

May 20, 2019 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Columbia Fireflies News Release

Columbia Fireflies (16-27) @ Rome Braves (21-22)

RHP Colin Holderman (3-0, 1.76) vs. RHP Jose Olague (4-3, 3.20)

Mon., May 20, 2019 - State Mutual Stadium (Rome, GA) - First Pitch 1:00 p.m. - Game 44

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LAST TIME OUT: Columbia earned an extra-innings victory against Rome, 9-8 (10). The game featured a combined 17 runs on 24 hits, including six home runs by the two squads. Ezequiel Zabaleta (W, 1-0) picke up his first win of the season, and Alec Kisena (S,2) registered his second save in the ten-inning thriller.

VIVA VIENTOS: Columbia third baseman Mark Vientos has been especially hot as of late. In his last 10 games, the 19-year-old is hitting .306 with 2 HR, 4 2B, and 6 RBIs. Vientos has reached safely in all but one of those games, and has recorded a hit in each of his last five appearances. The five-game hit streak is a season-high for the Floridian slugger.

THE MANIA CONTINUES: Fireflies outfielder Gerson Molina continued to impress in Sunday's win. The Cuban native had a 3-4 day with 2 2B, SB, and a game-winning base hit in the tenth inning. Since joining Columbia's roster on May 6th, Molina is hitting .310 with 2 HR and 8 RBIs.

HIGH FIVE!: Entering Monday's game, Columbia has homered in five consecutive games. It is their longest such streak of 2019.

FINALE: Columbia concludes its road trip in Rome on Monday. A win on Monday afternoon would continue the Fireflies' series unbeaten streak against the Braves, and would give them a winning record during the road stand.

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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