Fireflies drop series finale 5-3 to Greenjackets

COLUMBIA, S.C. – After leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, the Columbia Fireflies gave up three runs in the top of the ninth to secure a 5-3 loss to the Augusta GreenJackets to close out their six-game set at Segra Park Sunday afternoon.

Marlin Willis walked four and hit a batter with a pitch to allow three runs to score in the ninth and push Augusta (10-14) in front 5-1.

Former Clemson Tiger Spencer Strider started the game for the Greenjackets, allowing one run on three hits and two walks in four innings of work. He struck out six Fireflies, bringing his season strikeout total to 32 in just 15.1 innings of work.

The GreenJackets broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth when Vaughn Grissom launched his first homer of the season, a solo shot, off reliever Christian Cosby (L, 1-1). Columbia’s bats got going in the second after Juan Carlos Negret drew a lead-off walk and advanced to third from a Omar Hernandez two-bagger. The right fielder scored when Tyler Tolbert sent a sacrifice fly into the outfield to give Columbia a 1-0 lead.

The Fireflies next run didn’t come until the home half of the ninth, and it was Tolbert who got things going again. With one out, he was able to swipe his 11th bag of the season going from first to second, and on a throwing error from Ricardo Rodriguez, he scored. Diego Hernandez singled later in the inning to score Maikel Garcia and bring Brady McConnell to the plate.

McConnell represented the tying run of the game, but with two outs, Hernandez was caught trying to steal second to end the game.

After the league-wide off day Monday, the team travels to Myrtle Beach Tuesday to compete with the Pelicans for the first time. Southpaw Rylan Kaufman (1-1, 9.00 ERA) is slated for the start for Columbia. Myrtle Beach has yet to announce their starter.

After two weeks on the road, the Fireflies will return home Tuesday, June 15 to start a six-game set with the Augusta GreenJackets. At that point, Columbia will play 12 games in 13 days at Segra Park that will include two fireworks shows, two t-shirt giveaways and much more. For tickets visit

Categories: Local Sports, South Carolina Sports, Sports