Fireflies fall to Braves Wednesday

ROME, GA – Gio Alfonzo smacked two doubles in Columbia’s 7-2 loss to Rome on Wednesday afternoon at State Mutual Stadium. The Braves broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning with five runs on six hits. The Fireflies can still split the four-game series with a win on Thursday night.

Tony Dibrell was sharp on the mound in his 17th start of the season. The righty maneuvered through six solid innings, allowed five hits, two runs (both unearned), and struck out four batters. The 22-year-old has absorbed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his last 10 outings.

Rome scored first in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, runners at second and third, Jean Carlos Encarnacion chopped a ball towards third baseman Jose Brizuela. The ball went under Brizuela’s glove and both runs scored. The Braves grabbed a 2-0 advantage.

The Fireflies plated their first run on an error as well. Carlos Sanchez reached with a two-out infield single. The next batter, Dionis Paulino, advanced to first base on a dropped third strike. Alfonzo came to the dish, hit a grounder to Encarnacion at third base, and the ball bounced off his glove. Sanchez scored on the play. Columbia trailed 2-1 after six innings.

Alfonzo tied the game, for the moment, in the top of the eighth. The 25-year-old’s RBI double scored Paulino and the visitors nodded the contest at two runs a piece. Rome quickly responded in the bottom half with a five-run stanza off reliever Darwin Ramos (L, 3-3).

The series finale between the Braves and Fireflies is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday at State Mutual Stadium. Zac Grotz (1-3, 5.94) makes the start for Columbia and faces Rome’s southpaw Hayden Deal (5-1, 1.86). You can listen to the action on FOX SPORTS Radio 1400 AM or online at

Categories: Local Sports, Sports