WATCH: Legends Edge Fireflies 6-5
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Fireflies) — The Fireflies never trailed in their three-game series with the Lexington Legends until the eighth inning on Thursday night — that’s when the visitors used a three-run frame to take a 6-5 lead and down Columbia at Spirit Communications Park.
The Fireflies led, 5-3, to start the eight. Samir Duenez launched his second home run of the night off of Seth Davis (L, 1-1) to begin the frame. Ben Johnson and Cody Jones then followed with run-scoring hits to give the Legends the one-run edge.
Columbia (12-9) then went scoreless the final two innings. Manager Jose Leger’s team has won six of its last eight heading into its four-game weekend series with the Kannapolis Intimidators.
The home team struck first, scoring runs in the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, Vinny Siena tripled – for the second straight night – and David Thompson drove him in after grounding out to the shortstop Marten Gasparini. Then in the second, J.C. Rodriguez doubled off of Legends starter Scott Blewett. Tyler Moore stepped to the plate three batters later and knocked home his teammate.
The Columbia lead expanded to three runs in the third inning. With two runners aboard, Joe Tuschak tripled for the second time this season. The Fireflies led 4-1 after three frames.
Lexington (9-12) responded with scores in the fourth and sixth innings to cut their opponent’s lead to one run. In the bottom of the seventh, though, Thompson tattooed a fastball from reliever Kyle Kubat (W, 1-1) over the left-centerfield wall for his second dinger of the season.
Not to be forgotten, Columbia starter Thomas McIlraith pitched an effective six innings. He allowed just two earned runs and struck out a career-high nine batters.
The Fireflies start a four-game series with Kannapolis on Friday night at Spirit Communications Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Lefty Kevin Canelon (0-1, 4.20) toes the rubber and faces southpaw Ryan Riga (0-2, 9.98).
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.