Kisena Leads Fireflies to Third Straight Win
HAGERSTOWN, MD - The Fireflies had won three straight games just one other time this season. On Monday, Columbia notched its third consecutive win against Hagerstown with a convincing 3-1 victory at Municipal Stadium. Terrific pitching, timely hitting and strong defense now have the Fireflies a win away from a four-game sweep.
It would be the first ever four-game road sweep in franchise history. The sweep would be fitting, too. The Suns had just swept the Fireflies in a four-game set last week at Segra Park. A little revenge is on the line when these two teams meet again in the early morning hours on Tuesday (10:35 a.m. start time, the earliest of the season for Columbia).
When referencing terrific pitching, look no further than Alec Kisena (W, 3-2). After Jose Butto logged two hitless innings to get things started on Monday, Kisena was called upon out of the bullpen. The right-hander was indomitable at times and finished with six innings of one-run ball. Kisena allowed a homer to Jackson Cluff in the third but didn't allow another run the remainder of his night. The 23-year-old scattered just two other hits, didn't walk anyone and struck out six.
Kisena mirrored what he did on Wednesday when he hurled five scoreless frames against Kannapolis. Over his last two outings, Kisena has logged 11 innings, allowed one run and struck out 12.
Columbia (19-25, 43-67) scored first for a third straight game, this time, it was Jose Medina who cranked a homer in the second off of Tomas Alstre (L, 4-11). The Fireflies distanced itself from Hagerstown (20-23, 50-63) with runs in the fourth and fifth frames.
Some clutch pitching in the ninth was the final ingredient for a win on Monday. Jose Moreno started that inning on the slope, but allowed a single to Armond Upshaw and walked Cluff. Justin Connell bunted the runners over and then Fireflies manager Pedro Lopez made a change. Cole Gordon (S, 1) was called on from the bullpen and needed just five pitches to strike out Drew Mendoza and force Israel Pineda to ground out to clinch the win.
Top 2: Jose Medina smashes his fifth homer of the season to left. COL 1, HAG 0
Bottom 3: Jackson Cluff hits his third home run of the year. COL 1, HAG 1
Top 4: Chase Chambers scores from third on a wild pitch. COL 2, HAG 1
Top 5: Hayden Senger doubles, tags and moves to third on a fly ball to right and then does the same thing at third on Guillermo Granadillo's sacrifice fly to right. COL 3, HAG 1
The Fireflies and Suns turn around and play the series finale at 10:35 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The pitching matchup features a pair of righties: Daison Acosta (1-2, 4.43) for Columbia and Jake Irvin (6-7, 4.35) for Hagerstown. You can listen in to the action at FirefliesLiveStream.com.
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