Fireflies Game Notes: June 23 at Asheville (Game 70)
Columbia Fireflies (25-44) @ Asheville Tourists (31-42)
LHP Thomas Szapucki (0-0, 2.45) vs. RHP Ryan Feltner (3-5, 4.87)
Sun., June 23, 2019 - McCormick Field (Asheville, NC) - First Pitch 2:05 p.m. - Game 70
LISTEN: FirefliesLiveStream.com / ColumbiaFireflies.com / TuneIn App
LAST TIME OUT: Columbia fell to Asheville, 6-5, on Saturday. The Fireflies faced a four-run deficit in the early innings but charged back to take the lead in the sixth. Catcher Hayden Senger led the way with a season-high three RBIs. The final RBI of the three came on a solo homer to right center to give Columbia the advantage. Unfortunately, the bullpen gave up a run in both the eighth and ninth innings, allowing the Tourists to walk it off for their second victory of the series.
SWINGIN': Wagner Lagrange has enjoyed a hot start to the second half. The 23-year-old is hitting .364 (4-for-11) in the series against Asheville, and has driven in at least one run in each of the three contests over the weekend. Lagrange's .380 slugging percentage puts him at third amongst Fireflies hitters with at least 150 plate appearances on the season.
WARM WELCOME: Columbia newcomer Danny Hrbek tossed two scoreless innings in his Fireflies debut on Saturday. The former Radford Highlander was signed and activated earlier in the day, and wasted no time providing the pitching staff with some quality innings. Hrbek allowed just one baserunner in two innings of work, while striking out three.
RESPECT: With a base hit in Friday night's game, Chandler Avant has now reached base safely in 12 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 (23 GP), Avant leads the team with a .372 on-base percentage. His batting average is also .280 during that span.
WHO'S HOT?: Ronny Mauricio leads Columbia in hitting (.290 average). The All-Star is sixth in the league with 73 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 19.6% of the time which is good for 23rd 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 (16 GP) - .319 (23-for-72), 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 14 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 (450) and is tied for second in total home runs (70) in 2019.
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