Fireflies Game Notes: August 11 vs. Greenville (Game 115)
Columbia Fireflies (22-26, 46-68) vs. Greenville Drive (18-29, 50-67)
RHP Jose Butto (4-9, 3.71) vs. RHP Brayan Bello (5-7, 6.15)
Sun., August 11, 2019 - Segra Park (Columbia, SC) - First Pitch 5:05 p.m. - Game 115
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LAST TIME OUT: The hottest team in the South Atlantic League hit a bump in the road on Saturday at Segra Park. After scoring 23 combined runs on Thursday and Friday, Columbia managed just three hits in a 2-0 loss to Greenville. Even despite that, the Fireflies put the ball into play all evening, striking out just three times. The home team just couldn't make solid contact against Greenville's Chase Shugart. He nearly went the distance, logged a career-high eight innings and didn't allow any hard-hits outside of Walter Rasquin's double. Columbia's Bryce Hutchinson allowed just one run over five innings.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: Columbia still has a chance to win the series on Sunday. This would be the second straight series win after the Fireflies swept Hagerstown last week. With an Augusta loss, too, on Sunday, Columbia would sit just four games out of first place in the Southern Division with 21 games left.
VIENTOS IS STREAKING: Even despite Columbia's offensive struggles on Saturday, Mets prospect Mark Vientos notched a base hit. The third baseman has now reached safely in nine straight games. Vientos is hitting .371 (13-for-35) during that streak (since July 31) with four doubles, a triple, two homers and seven RBI. That .371 average is the fifth-best in the SAL since July 31.
LAUNCHING PAD: The Fireflies have homered six times against Greenville in the series. Columbia homered four times against the Drive during a series at Fluor Field from July 18-21 and in total have gone yard 18 times against Greenville in 14 games. That's 26% of Columbia's home run output this season.
PROSPECT WATCH: Sunday is the final day of the series against Greenville. It's the final day that both the Mets and Red Sox top-rated prospects clash at Segra Park. While Columbia's Ronny Mauricio is out of the lineup, the Drive's Triston Casas hits third in the order today. Casas, who's 19 years old, was the Red Sox 26th overall draft choice in 2018 while Mauricio, 18, was signed by the Mets in July of 2017. Mauricio is top 10 in the league in hits and batting average and Casas sits top 10 in the SAL in homers, RBI and extra-base hits. They're both the youngest players among the top 10 in all of those stat categories.
SUNDAY FUNDAY: Sunday may be Mark Vientos's favorite day of the week. The 19-year-old has the highest batting average on the team on Sundays: .386 (16 GP), 10 R, 7 2B, 11 RBI, 7 BB.
RECORD BREAKER: Ronny Mauricio broke the Fireflies single-season hits record on Tuesday in Hagerstown. Mauricio now has 117 on the year (tied for fifth in the SAL). The Mets top-rated prospect is on pace for 139 which would blow the prior record (J.C. Rodriguez, 111 in 2016) out of the water.
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South Atlantic League Stories from August 11, 2019
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