Fireflies Beat Braves, 5-1
Rome, GA (Fireflies) — Columbia plated five runs in the seventh inning on Friday night, overcoming a one-run deficit and winning, 5-1, at State Mutual Stadium. The Fireflies are now a perfect 8-0 as the road team in Rome this season.
Braves lefty Ricardo Sanchez (L, 6-9) had breezed through his prior five innings but ran into immediate trouble when the seventh started. With Rome up, 1-0, Eudor Garcia started the inning with a double. Then Sanchez walked Vicente Lupo and Tyler Moore back-to-back, loading the bases. Braves manager Randy Ingle pulled Sanchez for reliever Oriel Caicedo. With Luis Ortega at the plate, Caicedo hurled a fastball that missed away, bounced off of Lucas Herbert’s mitt and sailed to the back stop. The passed ball enabled Garcia to score from third and tie the game.
With runners now at second and third, Ortega singled up the middle, scoring Lupo. The Fireflies took a 2-1 lead and still had two aboard at first and third. The next hitter, Milton Ramos, scorched a grounder to second base. Darien McLemore attempted to start a double play but his throw to second was wild. Moore scored from third anyway, but the error moved Ortega to third. Dale Burdick then singled in Ortega and Columbia’s lead grew to 4-1. The visitors added one more when Ramos scored on another throwing error.
Starter Joe Shaw was spectacular in his third start against Rome. In all three, he’s collected the win. On Friday, he posted a career-high eight innings and struck out six, allowing just one first-inning run. In that frame, Ray-Patrick Didder walked and zoomed to third base when Luke Dykstra singled. Two Batters later, Justin Ellison singled home Didder, giving the Braves the early edge.
Shaw cruised the rest of the way. At one point, the right-hander retired 16 straight hitters. Shaw’s ERA against Rome in three starts is 2.14.
In five of the eight wins at State Mutual Stadium, the Fireflies have erased deficits in route to the victory.
On Saturday, new righty Nabil Crismatt starts his first game as a Firefly. He faces Braves right-hander Mike Soroka (4-9, 3.17) with first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
You can listen to the action on WGCV 620 AM and 96.3 FM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 5:45 p.m.