WATCH: Fireflies Whip Legends 13-2
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Fireflies) — Recharged after the first off day of the season, the Fireflies’ bats surged Tuesday night to route Lexington, 13-2, at Spirit Communications Park.
Columbia (11-8) mashed eleven hits, including three home runs. J.C. Rodriguez clubbed the first long ball of the night over the right-field wall in the bottom of the second. It was Rodriguez’s second home run of the season.
Later, Ivan Wilson led off the third inning and smacked a towering bomb onto the left-field concourse.
Fans had little time to soak in Wilson’s second blast of the year. On the very next pitch, Tucker Tharp drilled a line-drive home run into the first row of the home run porch in left field. The Fireflies hit back-to-back jacks for the first time ever. As for Tharp, the outfielder has hit safely in all nine games he has played in this season.
After the brief home run derby, Columbia etched an additional two runs in the frame off of Legends starter Nolan Watson (0-2, 13.50). Vinny Siena, who extended his on-base streak to 19 games, was hit by a pitch. David Thompson followed and reached base safely after a throwing error by Lexington (8-11) shortstop Marten Gasparini. After Dash Winningham walked to join the pair, the bases were loaded for Jeff Diehl. The designated hitter’s chopper to the third baseman Michael Hill bounced underneath his glove and rolled into left field, allowing Siena and Thompson to trot home.
The trio of home runs was more than enough, though, for Columbia starter Chase Ingram (W, 2-1). The 21-year-old righty worked six solid innings, allowing just four hits and one earned run. Ingram also matched a career high with eight strikeouts.
Even with a 6-1 lead after three innings, Columbia’s sticks weren’t done. In the fourth, Wilson and Tharp stroked consecutive singles to set up Thompson’s run-scoring base knock. Two batters later, Joe Tuschak picked up an RBI base hit. The Fireflies used those four hits plus two more Lexington errors to pull ahead 11-1.
The Legends added a run in the top of the sixth, but it was quickly made up for in the seventh. Following a Vicente Lupo single and a Siena walk, Thompson scorched a double into the left-center field gap to plate both runners. The Miami, Florida, native now has 21 RBIs this season, best in the South Atlantic League.
Columbia’s bullpen shut the door swiftly. Christian Montgomery and Alex Palsha combined for three, scoreless innings.
The Fireflies go for a sixth win over their last seven games on Wednesday night against Lexington at 7:05 p.m.Lefty P.J. Conlon (2-0, 1.08) toes the rubber in search of his third home win. He opposes Legends’ left-hander Emilio Ogando (2-0, 2.57).
You can listen to the action on WGCV 620 AM, 105.1 and 96.3 FM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 7:00 p.m.