Fireflies Game Notes: August 14 at Charleston (Game 118)
Columbia Fireflies (23-28, 47-70) @ Charleston RiverDogs (26-25, 63-58)
RHP Christian James (3-8, 4.58) vs. RHP Roansy Contreras (8-5, 3.77)
Wed., August 14, 2019 - Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park (Charleston, SC) - First Pitch 7:05 p.m. - Game 118
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LAST TIME OUT: There were nothing but zeros on the scoreboard on Tuesday at Joe Riley Park. That was, until the ninth inning. After eight and half scoreless frames, Charleston walked off against the Fireflies for a second straight night and won, 1-0. Colin Holderman (4.2 IP, 0 R, 4 K) and Jose Moreno (1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K) pitched very well. Willy Taveras had worked two scoreless IP before allowing the walk-off double to Eric Wagaman in the bottom of the ninth.
BUPKIS: This was also the deepest a game had gone scoreless that Columbia was playing in since May 7, 2018. That day, the Fireflies and BlueClaws went scoreless into the 10th, where Columbia ultimately fell, 5-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: Even despite the loss on Tuesday, the Fireflies are still only five games out of first but just 19 games remain. Columbia must win on Wednesday to avoid being swept by the RiverDogs.
TAKING A STEP FORWARD: Several Columbia hitters have made big improvements at the plate in the second half of the season. Take a look at the biggest in jumps in batting average from first half to second:
LARGEST BATTING AVERAGE INCREASES, 2019
1st Half 2nd Half
1. +.118, Hayden Senger .185 (40 GP) .303 (38 GP)
2. + .067, Jose Medina .185 (20 GP) .252 (31 GP)
3. + .059, Brian Sharp .180 (57 GP) .239 (46 GP)
4. + .058, Mark Vientos .240 (59 GP) .298 (44 GP)
Senger & Vientos have the 2 highest second-half batting averages on the team.
WHO'S HOT?: Over the last 10 days, Hayden Senger has the highest batting average on the team (.368 in 6 games).
NUMBER FIVE: The fifth former Firefly has reached the big leagues. On August 2, 2019, Fireflies pitcher Zac Grotz made his major league debut for the Seattle Mariners in Houston. The 26-year-old right-hander logged two innings and allowed just one run, pitching in the seventh and eighth innings of a 10-2 Mariners loss. Grotz has since made two other appearances on the mound for Seattle (8/6 and 8/13). The Californian has surrendered three runs in five innings of work and has punched out five. Grotz had his contract with the York Revolution (Independent Atlantic League) purchased by the Mets in June of 2018. He went on to start 13 games for Columbia last season and posted a 3-7 record and 4.61 ERA. The Mariners signed Grotz before the start of the 2019 season and assigned him to their double-A affiliate in Arkansas. There, Grotz impressed with a 4-4 record and 2.51 ERA in 26 outings.
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