Delmarva edges Fireflies, 8-7 in series-opener at Spirit Comm Park
COLUMBIA, SC – Columbia and Delmarva revealed just how prolific its offenses were early on Saturday night. The clubs totaled 14 runs in the first three innings but the Shorebirds wound up winning the series opener, 8-7, at Spirit Communications Park. Scott Manea collected three hits and extended his on-base streak to 16 straight games.
The two teams plated a run in the first six frames of the game. That’s the first time a game Columbia (18-17) has played in began that way in three seasons. The first three innings even featured four lead changes. Delmarva (24-11) quickly cashed in right out of the gate against lefty starter Anthony Kay. After T.J. Nichting reached on an error, Kay allowed a double to Seamus Curran that plated a run.
The home team exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first. Shorebirds starter Gray Fenter was not his sharpest on Saturday and allowed the first three batters (Edgardo Fermin–walk, Blake Tiberi—single, Quinn Brodey—walk) to reach consecutively. Jeremy Vasquez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly before Ali Sanchez stepped to the plate. The catcher clocked a line drive deep into the outfield. The ball bounced off the angled left-center field wall and kicked well past the centerfielder Nichting. Sanchez had eyes on an inside-the-park home run but halted at third as the throw was heaved home. His first career triple drove in two. Sanchez then tagged and scored the frame’s fourth run on Matt Winaker’s sacrifice fly.
Delmarva answered with four runs of its own in the top of the second and swung back ahead, 5-4. Kervin Moesquit and Nichting delivered the two big RBI singles.
The third lead change of the game then occurred in the bottom of the second. This time, Manea and Raphael Gladu bashed back-to-back singles to kick the inning off. The hit extended Gladu’s nine-game on-base streak. With two outs, Brodey struck a base hit that plated both Manea and Gladu. The Fireflies led, 6-5 after two.
The trend continued, and this time the visiting squad took a 7-6 advantage with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Fenter would next allow a base hit to Sanchez in the bottom of the third and Winaker would follow with a walk. That was all for the starter who was lifted for Ryan Wilson out of Delmarva’s bullpen. Manea drilled his second hit of the night and brought in Sanchez. Columbia left the bases loaded in the third but had tied the score.
The score remained knotted for six innings until the Shorebirds plated a run in the top of the ninth. Zach Jarrett bopped a one-out single and slipped to second base on a passed ball. Trevor Craport’s base knock moved Jarrett to third and the table was set for Ryan Ripken. The first baseman bounced a pitch on a high chop back to the mound and Jarrett broke from third immediately. Reliever Joshua Payne fielded – had no play at the plate – and threw Ripken out at first. Columbia went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Columbia continues its series against Delmarva on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. If interested in celebrating Mother’s Day with the Fireflies, visit FirefliesTickets.com. You can watch the game on MiLB.TV or listen to the action on FOX Sports Radio 1400 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 1:45 p.m.
Story by: Columbia Fireflies