Fireflies Top Tourists 10-6

fireflies.jpgASHEVILLE, N.C. (Fireflies) — After 30 hits and 16 runs combined on Thursday night, the Fireflies edged the Tourists, 10-6, at McCormick Field in Asheville, North Carolina.
The circus of a game lasted three hours and 36 minutes, the longest nine-inning game of the season for Columbia.

The visitors pushed across the first run in the the top of the first.
Vinny Siena and J.C. Rodriguez picked up singles to start the frame. Then Kevin Kaczmarski dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line to advance his teammates. David Thompson stepped
in next and bounced a high chopper to third base. While Siena scored on the play, Thompson was retired and had to exit the game due to injury. Nonetheless, Columbia (35-32) grabbed a 1-0 lead.

The Tourists responded in the second frame. Mylz Jones worked the basepaths masterfully. The Asheville (32-34) center fielder singled, stole second base,
and reached third base on an error. Max George slapped a run-scoring single to the outfield and the contest was knotted up, 1-1.

The home team broke the tie in the third inning. Yonathan Daza struck a double to left-center field. Taking advantage of a hitting-friendly McCormick Field,
Tourists’ slugger Sam Hilliard blasted a two-run home run over the 22-foot wall, which is just 320 feet from home plate, in right-center field.

Trailing 3-1 heading to the fourth, the Fireflies’ bats reeled off eight straight hits and scored five runs. Luis Ortega got the marathon started. He plastered a towering bomb – his third home run of the season – over the left-center field wall. The next three batters -Patrick Mazeika, Jeff Diehl and Joe Tuschak – mimicked one another with consecutive base knocks. Tyler Moore and Siena followed with back-to-back, run-scoring doubles to give Columbia the advantage.

Asheville didn’t take long to even the contest again. After Brendan Rodgers singled to start the bottom of the fifth, Brian Mundell muscled a home run over
the right-field wall. Daza mashed a double and later scored thanks to a Jones single back up the box.

The seesaw leaned the Fireflies’ way when it was all said and done. In the sixth, Kaczmarski and
Milton Ramos
climbed aboard with singles. Ortega was due up and he plated Kaczmarski by roping a two-bagger to left-center field off of Tourists reliever Javier
Palacios (L, 0-2). Mazeika lifted a sacrifice-fly to left field and that scored Ramos.

Columbia added another pair of insurance runs in the seventh and never looked back. The bullpen shut the door and didn’t allow a run in the final 4.1 innings.
Tyler Bashlor (W, 1-1) picked up his first win of the season,
Witt Haggard logged
his longest outing to date and Christian Montgomery
(S, 2) earned his second save.

The Fireflies and Tourists battle again on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
Gaby Almonte (1-0,
0.00) makes his second start of the season in a Columbia uniform. The Dominican righty faces Asheville right-hander Trey Killian (4-3, 5.02).
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