Fireflies score four in the eighth inning to beat Mudcats 7-3

COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Fireflies were able to charge ahead, scoring four runs in the eighth to upset the Carolina Mudcats 7-3 at Segra Park Tuesday evening.

Carter Jensen sparked the rally in the eighth. After drilling a two out single up the middle and moving to second on a Gary Camarillo walk, Columbia’s (17-41) backstop tried to steal third. A fielding error on the throw down from third baseman Jheremy Vargas didn’t allow the ball to leave the infield. Despite that, Jensen charged home and was able to score without a throw to give Columbia a 4-3 lead. After that, the flood gates opened. Erick Peña drew a walk and then Dayton Dooney flew a triple to the center field wall to score Camarillo and Peña. The icing on the cake was Dooney scoring on a Michele Vassalotti wild pitch to put the Fireflies in front 7-3.

Then Marlin Willis (W, 1-1) closed out the night, spinning three, one-hit frames, allowing a single hit and fanning a trio of Mudcats (30-28).

Columbia got things going in the second inning. After Erick Peña drew a walk with one out to set the table, Felix Famlia rolled an RBI single up the middle to break the scoreless tie. Omar Florentino was hit by a pitch to push Columbia’s first baseman into scoring position for Enrique Valdez, who laced a base-knock to right field to double their lead.

Tony Peña Jr. employed some fancy baserunning on a double steal to score the final run of the inning. After Enrique Valdez started towards second, he was able to get into a pickle long enough for Florentino to score the final run of the frame before being tagged out. It gave Columbia a 3-0 lead.

The Mudcats didn’t wait long to answer back though, they got a pair in the top of the third on three consecutive hits: a double from Eduardo Garcia, a triple off the centerfield wall from Jackson Choreo and a base knock from Jefferson Quero to cut Columbia’s lead to a single run.

The Fireflies continue their series with the Carolina Mudcats tomorrow at 12:05 pm at Segra Park. RHP Ben Kudrna (0-2, 0.66 ERA) gets the nod for the Fireflies and the Mudcats counter with RHP Israel Puello (3-6, 6.53 ERA).

Tomorrow is a business day special at Segra Park. If fans order tickets prior to 9 am, they can buy two Palmetto Citizens FCU All-Star tickets, get two hot dogs and their choice of two 24 oz fountain sodas or two 16 oz draft domestic beers all for $24. Tickets are still available at

Categories: Local Sports, Sports