Fireflies Slam Three Homers, Finish up Series with a Win
COLUMBIA, SC - There was a power surge at Segra Park on Friday night. The Fireflies smashed a season-best three home runs and defeated the Drive in the series finale, 6-2. The Fireflies split the four-game set with their Southern-Division rivals.
Those homers were three of the season-high seven extra-base hits the Fireflies tallied on Friday. The offense sparked early against Greenville (19-28). The red-hot Mark Vientos ripped a two-run home run - his fifth of the year - in the opening inning. The blast hit the Bojangles' Berm sign on the fly well past the left-center field wall. Vientos's hit streak has now reached a team-best 10 straight games.
Brian Sharp followed that loud hit up with one of his own three innings later. Columbia's (19-29) two-run lead had been cut in half when Cole Brannen drove in Kervin Suarez with a sacrifice fly in the third, but not for long. Sharp yanked a fastball over the right-field wall in the fourth, his team-leading sixth home run of the season.
Columbia later knocked Drive starter Alex Scherff (L, 0-4) out of the game in the fifth with two more runs. Ronny Mauricio began that inning with a double and Hansel Moreno soon followed with his own. Moreno tagged and scampered to third when Vientos flew out to left. He scored moments later when Chase Chambers bounced a hard grounder to first. The Fireflies exited the fifth with a 5-1 lead.
Tristan Casas's RBI single in the sixth proved to be a futile start to a rally as Greenville's hitters did little else the rest of the way. The only other run to score was in the eighth when Shervyen Newton drilled his first home run of the season to right field.
Four of Columbia's first five hitters in the lineup -Mauricio, Moreno, Vientos and Newton - all finished with two hits (all wound up with at least one extra-base hit, too).
Not to be forgotten, Willy Taveras (W, 3-5) was splendid on the mound for the Fireflies and picked up his first win since April 15. The 21-year-old right-hander spun six innings, struck out a season-high eight and didn't walk any one. Relief pitchers Tylor Megill and Jose Moreno finished the job with three combined scoreless innings of work.
The Fireflies will now hit the road and face the Charleston RiverDogs over Memorial Day weekend. Game one of the four-game series is scheduled for 6:05 ET on Saturday at Joe Riley Park. You can listen to the action on FirefliesLiveStream.com.
Keep in mind, Columbia returns to Segra Park on Thursday, May 30. It's the first of a seven-game homestand that features a military card set giveaway presented by AllSouth Federal Credit Union and Fort Jackson Night on June 5. You can purchase tickets for the games at FirefliesTickets.com.
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South Atlantic League Stories from May 24, 2019
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