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Fireflies Game Notes: April 16 at Rome (Game 12)

April 16, 2019 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Columbia Fireflies News Release

Columbia Fireflies (5-6) @ Rome Braves (4-7)

RHP Jose Butto (0-2, 10.80) vs. RHP Jasseel De La Cruz (0-1, 2.57)

Tues., April 16, 2019 - State Mutual Stadium (Rome, GA) - First Pitch 10:30 a.m. - Game 12

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LAST TIME OUT: Anthony Dirocie smacked the two most clutch hits on Monday night in a 3-2 win over Rome. First, Dirocie doubled in the tying run in the seventh and then blasted the go-ahead solo home run in the ninth. The homer was Dirocie's first of the year and 21st of his career (275 GP).

HEY, PITCHING, TOO: Simeon Woods-Richardson, Willy Tavares and Andrew Mitchell were all wonderful on the mound on Monday and kept Columbia in the game all night. Woods-Richardson struck out five over three scoreless frames (he now has 11 Ks in 7.2 IP this year with no walks). Tavares went five and picked up the win. And Mitchell closed the game out with a one-two-three ninth with a pair of strikeouts.

CHOP 'EM: The Fireflies have now won three straight to start the year against the Rome Braves.

FOLLOW THE LAW: Senior baseball writer at ESPN, Keith Law, 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' past two second-round draft choices (Simeon Woods-Richardson, Mark Vientos), the system's third-rated prospect (Ronny Mauricio), according to Baseball America, and left-hander Thomas Szapucki (drafted in the fifth round in 2015) who returned after missing all of the 2018 season following Tommy John surgery.

YOUTHFUL ENERGY: Columbia's 2019 roster features three teenagers: SS Ronny Mauricio (18), RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (18) and 3B Mark Vientos (19). All are considered top-10 rated Mets prospects. The Fireflies roster currently includes 10 players aged 21 or younger. Columbia's opening day roster was the youngest (average age 21.6) ever. Take a look below for more information on the prospects in Columbia in 2019.

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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