WATCH: Fireflies Pay Tribute To Prince, Beat Power 11-2
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Fireflies) — The Fireflies’ bats went delirious on Thursday night, tallying 14 hits and powering past West Virginia, 11-2. 6,062 fans made their way out 2 Spirit Communications Park – the third-largest crowd of the season – 4 “Purple Game, Purple Game,” a tribute 2 the Grammy-award winning artist, Prince. Thanks 2 Thursday’s Purple Rain jersey auction, also raised an incredible $7,041 for the Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter.
Every Columbia (30-30) hitter reached base safely on Thursday, and eight of the nine starters scored a run.
The home team raced out 2 a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The first four batters of the game notched hits against starter Gage Hinsz (L, 0-1). Kevin Kazcmarski’s single and J.C. Rodriguez’s double both plated runs. Luis Ortega’s sacrifice fly scored the last run of the frame.
The three scores were just a sign o’ the times 2 come. After Rodriguez laced a base hit 2 the outfield 2 begin the sixth, David Thompson doubled him home. Ortega then used another sacrifice fly 2 get another run in. The Fireflies led by four after six innings.
In the seventh, Rodriguez clubbed a home run over the right field wall 2 put the home team in front, 6-1. The switch-hitter’s long ball was something U had 2 see 2 believe – it was his fourth of the season. The infielder finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Columbia wasn’t done in the eighth. The Fireflies batted around and Dash Winningham and Joe Tuschak both smacked run-scoring doubles, which highlighted the five-run inning.
Columbia’s first four hitters in the lineup – Vinny Siena, Kaczmarski, Rodriguez and Thompson – finished a combined 10-for-18 at the plate with seven runs scored and six RBIs.
Chase Ingram (W, 4-5) had the look on the mound on Thursday. The starter went six innings, allowed just one run and silenced the West Virginia (30-29) bats.
Columbia and West Virginia battle again on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Manager Jose Leger hands the ball 2 southpaw P.J. Conlon (7-1, 1.21). He takes on Power righty Mitch Keller (4-3, 1.89) in what should B a marvelous pitching matchup.
U can watch the action on MiLB.TV or listen in on WGCV 620 AM, 105.1 and 96.3 FM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 7:00 p.m.