'Flies Ding 'Birds in Tenth
COLUMBIA, SC - Zach Rheams' walkoff bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th lifted the Columbia Fireflies past the Delmarva Shorebirds 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Spirit Communications Park.
With the game tied at 1-1 and Hansel Moreno starting the inning at second base, Matt Winaker drew a one-out walk, then Scott Manea took a fastball off his shoulder to load the bases. On an 0-1 pitch, Rheams chipped his bat and laced one over the third base bag, bringing home Moreno with the winning run.
Conner O'Neil (6-0) earned the win in relief for the Fireflies (19-29, 53-62), holding the Shorebirds (24-24, 59-56) scoreless over three innings. Diogenes Almengo (1-1) endured the loss after giving up the unearned run in the 10th.
After a three-inning staring contest, the Shorebirds forced Columbia to blink in the top of the fourth. Seamus Curran drew a one-out walk, then two batters later Branden Becker cracked a double that one-hopped the wall in right. Curran trucked all the way around to score, and Becker ended up at third on an overthrow after giving his team a 1-0 lead.
The Fireflies drew even in the bottom of the fifth on a Moreno solo homer to right. The Fireflies had men in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings, but Delmarva skated by cleanly.
Becker led the Shorebird offense with his RBI double. Mason McCoy went 2-for-4, and Curran walked twice and scored.
Rheams finished 3-for-5, including the game-winning hit in the 10th. Moreno went 2-for-5 with a homer and both Columbia runs at the top of the order.
Pitching drew the headlines over the first nine innings for both sides. Delmarva's Jhon Peluffo lasted five innings under the blazing South Carolina sun, allowing one run on four hits while walking three and striking out two. Cameron Ming took the baton in the sixth and delivered four scoreless innings, including three straight frames of just eight pitches each.
Nicolas Debora turned in one of his best starts of the year for the Fireflies, allowing one run on three hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out a career-high 10.
Delmarva falls to 4-10 in extra-inning games this season; all three of the Shorebirds' losses to Columbia this season have come in the 10th inning. In the Shorebirds three losses on this road trip they have scored just one run; they've scored 27 in the three wins.
The Shorebirds get another crack at a series win with the finale against the Fireflies on Monday night. Brenan Hanifee (7-5, 2.92) takes the hill for Delmarva against Columbia's Tony Dibrell (5-5, 3.16). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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