Fireflies Win 4-3, Take Rome Series

Fireflies Ingram

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Fireflies) — Jeff Diehl knocked in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to break a tie on Wednesday night, and Columbia downed the Rome Braves, 4-3, at Spirit Communications Park. The Fireflies took two of three in the series against Rome and finished the seven-game homestand with a 5-2 mark.

 

Columbia’s (34-32) 3-0 lead vanished in the top of the eighth inning after the visitors cashed in three runs. But then Joe Tuschak led the bottom of the eighth off with a walk. Pat Mazeika bunted him over to second and Milton Ramos’ groundout moved Tuschak to third base. Adam McCreery (L, 0-2) started to look shaky on the hill when Diehl stepped to the plate. Facing a two-strike count, Diehl bopped a single into right field that plated Tuschak and gave the home team a 4-3 lead.

 

Alex Palsha – pitching in front of family on Wednesday night – came on for the ninth and retired the side in order. Palsha struck out two and recorded his 10th save of the season. The righty from Danville, California, is a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities.

 

The game was scoreless through the fifth inning. Chase Ingram and Patrick Weigel got off to wonderful starts, with the former eventually lasting a career-high 7.2 innings. Ingram punched out six and walked just one. The right-hander now has a 1.31 ERA against Rome (26-39) in three starts (20.2 IP).

 

The Fireflies tagged Weigel for three runs in the sixth, though. Kevin Kaczmarski singled and shifted to second when David Thompson walked. The next batter, Luis Ortega, bounced a pitch back to the mound that Weigel cleanly fielded but threw late to third. Columbia had the bases full with Dash Winningham at the dish. The lefty rolled a groundball up the first base line that looked like a routine out for Braves first baseman Wigberto Nevarez. His throw to the plate was wide and ended up at the backstop which enabled Kaczmarski to score. Thompson then rounded third base, recognizing the baseball was loose, and slid in for another score. The catcher Lucas Herbert’s flip to the plate – attempting to retire Thompson – kicked off of the Fireflies’ third baseman’s leg and rolled back behind the plate once again. That enabled Ortega to fly home from third base and score the third run.

 

Seth Davis (W, 2-1) was charged with two of the runs – just one earned – when Rome scored in the eighth, but was handed the win after his team re-took the lead later that inning.

 

Columbia looks to keep the momentum rolling in Asheville, North Carolina, on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. The Fireflies finish the first half of the season at McCormick Field for a four-game set with the Tourists. The Southern Division starter in the All-Star Game, P.J. Conlon (8-1, 1.34) toes the rubber against Asheville righty Jesus Tinoco (0-1, 2.84).

 

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.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports