COLUMBIA, SC – The Fireflies surged past the Power and won 6-5 in front of 6,809 fans (second-largest crowd of the season) on Wednesday at Spirit Communications Park. The squad tallied four runs in the bottom of the seventh and claimed the third game of this series. Wildly enough, this is the 13th one-run game Columbia has played in during May. It’s also the ninth one-run affair the team has experienced over the last 11 contests.
The home team trailed 5-2, but sparked a comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning. Wuilmer Becerra led off the stanza with a single into shallow centerfield. With Scott Manea at the plate, Becerra advanced to second on a wild pitch. Manea followed that up and reached on an infield single, which put runners at the corners. Rigoberto Terrazas knocked in Becerra with a single into the outfield. After Edgardo Fermin struck out, the next three batters – Blake Tiberi, Quinn Brodey, Jeremy Vasquez – all produced a base hit with two outs. Brodey’s singled plated Manea and Vasquez’s line drive into left field scored Terrazas and Tiberi. Columbia erased the three-run deficit and grabbed a 6-5 edge. Three of the club’s six singles in the frame were in the infield.
Aaron Ford (W, 2-0) bridged the gap out of the bullpen during the middle innings. Columbia’s reliever lasted 2.1 frames and only allowed one earned run. Trey Cobb slammed the door in the ninth and picked up his sixth save of the season. So far in this series, pitching coach Jonathan Hurst has watched his bullpen throw 19 innings, absorb only three earned runs, and register 22 strikeouts.
West Virginia started the scoring early against righty Tony Dibrell. Cal Mitchell launched a solo home run in the first inning and two frames later, Brett Pope smashed his first professional long ball – a two-run shot. The Power held a 3-0 lead after three frames. Dibrell ultimately completed 5.2 innings, walked five batters, and logged five strikeouts in his eighth start of the season.
Aside from the four-run seventh, the Fireflies pushed two runs across the plate in the fourth inning. Tiberi began the frame with a double – his ninth of the year. Following a pair of fly outs, Ali Sanchez singled and plated Tiberi. While Matt Winaker was up at the dish, Sanchez proceeded to move up to second base on a delayed steal. Winaker then drilled a ball into right field and brought home Sanchez.
Columbia and West Virginia finish up this intense four-game installment on Thursday evening at Spirit Communications Park. Joe Cavallaro (5-1, 2.21) toes the rubbers for the Fireflies. The Power counter with right-hander Cody Bolton (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is slated for 7:05 and you can listen to the action on FOX Sports Radio 1400 AM or online at ColumbiaFireflies.com. The game is also available to watch live on MiLB.tv.