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Fireflies Game Notes: June 21 at Asheville

June 21, 2019 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Columbia Fireflies News Release

Columbia Fireflies (24-43) @ Asheville Tourists (30-41)

RHP Jose Butto (2-7, 4.42) vs. LHP Colten Schmidt (2-3, 1.69)

Fri. - McCormick Field (Asheville, NC) - First Pitch 7:05 p.m. - Game 68


LAST TIME OUT: Columbia fell to Asheville, 26-9, in the first game of the second half. Every Fireflies position player who saw an at-bat recorded a base hit in the loss, and six of the nine starters had multiple hits. Mark Vientos, Wagner Lagrange and Brian Sharp each had multiple RBIs. The two teams combined for 42 total hits in the affair, tying a SAL single-game record.

STAYING SHARP: Columbia utility man Brian Sharp made history on Thursday night. The Missouri native became the first Fireflies player to record a home run at the plate and a strikeout on the mound in a single game. Sharp was a former two-way standout at the University of Missouri, leading the Tigers in BA, games played, and had a 4-0 record in 32.0 IP in his Junior season.

MOUNTAIN MOMMA: Columbia begins their second half campaign just east of the Great Smoky Mountains on Thursday. The Fireflies visit Asheville for the first and only time in 2019. Columbia has yet to win a series immediately following the all-star break.

RESPECT: Chandler Avant singled in his lone at-bat in Thursday's game and has now reached base safely in 11 straight contests. The former Alabama Crimson Tide infielder has made major strides at the plate this year after hitting just .105 in 11 April games. Since May 16 (22 GP), Avant leads the team with a .383 on-base percentage. His batting average is also .286 during that span.

WHO'S HOT?: Ronny Mauricio leads Columbia in hitting (.291 average). The All-Star is sixth in the league with 72 hits, but he is the only teenager who appears in the top 10 (and that's qualified hitters, too). The second-rated Mets prospect only strikes out 18.9% of the time which is good for 21st in the SAL. It's worth noting, though, he's the youngest player in the league to appear that high up on the list. The Mets prospect has performed notably well at the plate as of late: SINCE MAY 28 Mauricio (14 GP) - .355 (22-for-62), 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K

HITTER'S PARK: After finishing last in several of the major offensive categories (BA: .218, R: 222, RBI: 189) in the first half, the Fireflies could see their numbers skyrocket in Asheville over the weekend. The hitter-friendly McCormick Field ranks first among ballparks in the SAL in total runs scored (430) and is tied for second in total home runs (69) in 2019.

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