Eight-Run Fourth Inning Propels Fireflies to Big Win
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Columbia Fireflies bats came to life in an eight-run fourth inning that led to an 12-2 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets Friday night at SRP Park.
The fourth inning marked the first time since the first inning of a July 3, 2019 bout with the Greenville Drive that the Fireflies (2-2) scored eight runs in a single frame. Jake Means started off the fourth with a walk before Gabriel Rodriguez (L, 0-1) came in to try to keep Augusta (2-2) in front 2-1. Instead, the righty allowed a bunt single from Diego Hernandez that moved Means to third. Means scored on a wild pitch before Tucker Bradley walked to get aboard.
Next, things got out of control. The Fireflies successfully executed a double steal to put runners on second and third to set up a wild pitch to score Hernandez. With Bradley at third, Rodriguez tried to throw home while on the mound to check to see if Hernandez had touched home on the scamper home. That resulted in a balk to score Bradley and put Columbia in front 4-2. By the end of the inning, Columbia would draw two more free passes, reach safely on an error and push across three singles as they batted around to jump ahead 9-2.
The Fireflies bats didn’t stop there. Diego Hernandez knocked a two-bagger to left to plate Felix Familia in the sixth, Kale Emshoff drove Tyler Tolbert home in the seventh and Rubendy Jaquez hit a sacrifice fly to score Hernandez to give the Fireflies the final score of 12-2. The last time Columbia scored 12 runs in a game was April 14, 2019 against the Lexington Legends.
Columbia was aggressive on the base paths too, stealing a franchise-best 12 bases throughout the game. Diego Hernandez led the way with three, but Bradley, Maikel Garcia and Tolbert also had two stolen bags a piece.
Royals top prospect Ben Hernandez started the game and would get a no-decision after allowing a pair of runs in 2.2 innings.
The Fireflies continue their series against the Augusta GreenJackets tomorrow night at 6:05 pm. LHP Rylan Kaufman (0-0, 0.00 ERA) gets the nod for Columbia, while the GreenJackets hand the ball to RHP Joey Estes (0-0, 0.00 ERA).
Columbia returns home to Segra Park May 11 to face the Charleston RiverDogs in a six-game series ending May 16. Limited tickets are still available at FirefliesTickets.com.