Gladu Knocks out Lexington with 10th Inning Double
COLUMBIA, SC - Thursday's series finale between Columbia and Lexington was as entertaining as it was whacky. The Fireflies notched just two hits but came away with a 4-3 walk-off win in 10 innings at Spirit Communications Park. The Fireflies won the series and improved to 3-1 in extras in 2018.
The second hit, which proved to be the walk-off, was recorded in the bottom of the tenth inning. With Ali Sanchez sitting at second base, Raphael Gladu bashed a double down the right-field line. Gladu's only hit of the evening delivered Columbia its second straight win.
The only other Columbia (14-13) hit was struck in the seventh, during just as tense a moment. Trailing 2-0 - and having been no-hit up until this point - Quinn Brodey drilled a three-run homer off of Lexington (13-12) starter Daniel Tillo (who had walked the two prior hitters in the inning). Tillo crumbled after appearing indomitable earlier in the game. The lefty struck out the first nine batters of the game consecutively and logged 6.1 no-hit innings. He was relieved after allowing the dinger to Brodey.
In fact, both starters carried no-hitters into the sixth innings. Fireflies hurler Tony Dibrell wound up surrendering just one hit over six innings. The right-hander fanned six, and at one point five in a row in the fourth and fifth frames. Tillo finished with 10 punch-outs.
Lexington scored first in the sixth. Travis Jones plated an unearned run with a single off of Dibrell. The Legends pulled ahead 2-0 when Suely Matias homered in the following inning.
It appeared Brodey's blast would be the difference on Thursday, until the top of the ninth. Nick Pratto, the top-rated Royals prospect, drilled a solo home run off of reliever Trey Cobb (W, 1-0). The Oklahoma native bounced back with a scoreless 10th, setting the table for Gladu's heroics a half inning later.
Also of note on Thursday, Columbia first baseman Jeremy Vasquez walked and extended his franchise-record on-base streak to 26 straight games.
The Fireflies begin a four-game series with the Lakewood BlueClaws on Friday at 7:05 p.m. The expected starters are southpaws Jake Simon (0-3, 4.91) for Columbia and Damon Jones (1-1, 3.50) for Lakewood.
For tickets, visit FirefliesTickets.com. Or you can watch the game on MiLB.TV or listen on FOX Sports Radio 1400 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 6:45 p.m.
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Columbia Fireflies left fielder Raphael Gladu
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