Vientos’ Inside-The-Park Homer Welcomes One Millionth Fan To Segra Park

COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Fireflies welcomed their one  millionth fan to Segra Park on Friday night. That fan, as well as 4,103 other members of the Fireflies faithful were greeted with the gift of witnessing one of the most exciting plays in baseball. Mark Vientos produced the first ever inside-the-park home run in Segra Park’s history. The round-tripper was an exhilarating centerpiece to a 4-3 extra-innings loss against Charleston.

Vientos’ inside-the-parker began with a line drive into deep left-center field. The ball caromed off the padded wall and ricocheted across the outfield grass. The 19-year-old plugged around the bases  and slid safely into home. Vientos immediately popped up after the slide and let loose a triumphant scream to the Columbia (11-11, 35-53) crowd.

The homer from Vientos was one of three hits on the evening for the Florida native. Shervyen Newton and Carlos Sanchez each recorded a pair of hits as well. For Newton, the two-hit night is his sixth consecutive multi-hit performance. That’s a new season-high among Columbia hitters.

The Fireflies were tied with Charleston (10-12, 47-45) after the sixth inning. Willy Taveras and Roansy Contreras each gave serviceable starts to their respective ballclubs. Both pitchers allowed three runs through six frames. They each gave way to their team’s bullpens in the seventh.

Danny Hrbek and Nelson Leon (L, 0-1) worked masterfully to hold the RiverDogs through the ninth. Dalton Lehnen (W, 2-0) matched their efforts, tossing three scoreless innings in relief. Charleston’s fireman retired the final seven Fireflies hitters he faced. In fact, Columbia went hitless in their last 10 at-bats during the contest.

The RiverDogs scored their game-winning run on a controversial play in the top of the tenth. Kyle Gray tagged from third on a flyout to right field from Frederick Cuevas. Gray scored easily on the play, but there was some concern from Fireflies manager Pedro Lopez that the runner left the bag too early. Lopez voiced his disagreement rather feverishly to the home plate umpire and was ejected from the game. The skipper received a resounding applause from the Segra Park crowd on  his way to the dugout.

Columbia falls to 2-3 in extra-innings games this year with the loss. The Fireflies are yet to win in extras at home in 2019.

The game also served as the return of the Copa de la Diversion at Segra Park. Each of this weekend’s three games against Charleston will feature the “Fun Cup” identities of the two teams. You can see game two between the Chicharrones de Columbia and Perros Santos de Charleston on Saturday. First pitch is set for 6:05 ET, with coverage beginning at 5:45 ET at You can also watch the action live at MiLB.TV.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports