Pitchers Shine Again, Cavallaro Guides Columbia to 2-0 Start
COLUMBIA, SC - Joe Cavallaro watched from the dugout on Thursday night as his teammates flummoxed GreenJackets hitters. The right-hander followed the script and struck out a career-high eight hitters (6 IP) on Friday, leading Columbia to a 7-2 victory over Augusta at Spirit Communications Park.
Cavallaro and relievers Joshua Payne and Darwin Ramos combined for 11 punchouts, one better than Thursday's total. The 21 strikeouts follows a trend. Columbia pitchers have punched out 20 or more hitters in the first two games of all three of the franchise's seasons.
The Fireflies fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first but quickly slashed the deficit in the bottom half. Raphael Gladu singled, stole second base and later moved to third on a groundout to the right side of the infield. A wild pitch enabled the Canadian to score.
Cavallaro settled down and hurled five straight scoreless frames. The combination of his eight Ks and three double plays turned behind him in the field (three of five total in the game - a new single-game franchise record) squashed any possibility of additional Augusta offense. The right-hander's teammates picked him up at the dish in the bottom of the sixth.
The Fireflies sent 11 hitters to the plate in that frame, an inning that began with four straight walks. Quinn Brodey and Rigoberto Terrazas mashed back-to-back run-scoring hits (Terrazas' a two-run double) and suddenly Columbia turned a 2-1 gap into a 5-2 lead. Brodey would later score on a wild pitch and Giovanney Alfonzo plated Terrazas with a single. The home team was up, 7-2.
Perhaps the neat nugget of the night: every Columbia hitter reached base safely.
The Fireflies aim for a 3-0 start when the club battles the GreenJackets again on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. Southpaws Jake Simon (COL) and John Gavin (AUG) are scheduled to start. The game is available on MiLB.TV and on Fox Sports Radio 1400 AM in Columbia or on the TuneIn Radio App.
For tickets to Saturday's game, fans can visit FirefliesTickets.com or call (803) 726-4487.
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Columbia Fireflies Pitcher Joe Cavallaro
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