9,077 See Fireflies Win Spirit Communications Park Opener

By Kevin Fitzgerald | April 15, 2016 10:39 AM

COLUMBIA, SC - The Fireflies opened Spirit Communications Park in style on Thursday night, downing the Greenville Drive, 4-1. It was Columbia's fourth straight victory.

The first game in ballpark history saw 9,077 fans walk through the gates to catch the return of professional baseball to the Palmetto State's capital.

And it didn't take long for the Fireflies to dazzle the sellout crowd. Ivan Wilson and Kevin Kaczmarski smashed back-to-back extra-base hits to the spacious gaps at Spirit Communications Park off of Logan Boyd (L, 1-1) to begin the bottom of the first inning. Kaczmarski's triple plated Wilson, and the Cary, Iliinois, native tagged and scored from third base thanks to Vinny Siena's sacrifice fly.

That was all starter P.J. Conlon (W, 1-0) needed. The lefty allowed one run over six frames and struck out a career-high five hitters. Seth Davis and Johnny Magliozzi (S, 2) followed suit, blanking Greenville (4-4) over the final three innings.

Columbia (5-3) added two insurance runs in the eighth. Siena, David Thompson and Dash Winningham vaulted back-to-back-to-back doubles to increase the Fireflies' lead to 4-1.

Columbia can bump its winning streak to five with a victory over Greenville on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Manager Jose Leger calls on right-hander Thomas McIlraith (1-0, 0.00) to square off with Drive righty Roniel Raudes (1-0, 0.00). McIlraith was the starter for the Fireflies' no-hitter on Saturday night in Charleston.

You can listen to the action on WGCV 620 AM and 105.1 FM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 7:00 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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