Newton Stays Hot, Homers in Fireflies Loss
CHARLESTON, WV - Shervyen Newton drilled a three-run homer and Wagner Lagrange tallied three hits but their efforts weren't enough to help take down West Virginia on Tuesday. Columbia stumbled in the middle game, 11-6.
The Fireflies must win the series finale on Wednesday afternoon to ward off a sweep. Regardless of the outcome on Wednesday, this will be Columbia's (13-13, 37-55) first series loss in July.
Columbia's offense tallied 12 hits on Tuesday. In fact, seven of the nine starters recorded at least one hit. But the Power's offensive attack was relentless. The visitors fell behind 7-0 after the first three frames. Ten West Virginia (13-13, 50-46) batters came to the plate in the first inning and tallied four quick runs. Half of those hitters walked. Tylor Megill (L, 3-2) recorded just two outs before he was lifted for relief pitcher Jake Simon.
Newton smashed his three-run homer off of former University of South Carolina starter Reid Morgan (W, 1-0) in the fifth and after two more runs in the sixth, Columbia found itself down just 8-5. A three-run bottom of the eighth for the Power ended any hopes for a Fireflies rally in the late innings.
Newton is now hitting .450 in his last 10 games after the two-hit night. That stretch includes three doubles, three homers and 10 RBI.
Chase Chambers and Chandler Avant were the two other Columbia hitters who notched two-hit games on Tuesday.
Bottom 1: With the bases loaded, Austin Shenton walks and brings in a run ... Julio Rodriguez scores from third on a wild pitch ... Dean Nevarez singles in a pair of runs. WV 4, COL 0
Bottom 2: J. Rodriguez drives in Matt Sanders with a double. WV 5, COL 0
Bottom 3: Sanders singles with the bases loaded and scores a run ... J. Rodriguez reaches on an error with the bases loaded, Charlie McConnell scores from third base. WV 7, COL 0
Top 6: Shervyen Newton blasts a three-run homer over the right-field wall. WV 7, COL 3
Bottom 6: J. Rodriguez homers to left. WV 8, COL 3
Top 7: Chandler Avant doubles down the left-field line and plates Brian Sharp ... Wagner Lagrange singles, scores Ronny Mauricio from third base. WV 8, COL 5
Bottom 8: Ryan Ramiz triples and scores on Sanders' sacrifice fly to right field ... Bobby Honeyman singles, scores J. Rodriguez ... Shenton's double brings in Honeyman. WV 11, COL 5
Top 9: Chase Chambers plates Avant from second base with a single through the left side of the diamond. WV 11, COL 6
First pitch for the series finale is 12:05 ET on Wednesday. The pitching matchup features a pair of right-handers: Simeon Woods-Richardson (2-8, 4.63) for Columbia and Devin Sweet (4-4, 3.36) for West Virginia. You can tune into the action at FirefliesLiveStream.com.
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