COLUMBIA, SC - Chase Chambers kept his hot streak alive on Monday night in Columbia. The first baseman launched a homer and wound up with two more hits in the Fireflies' 4-2 loss to Hickory at Segra Park. Chambers has now notched three multi-hit games over his last four.
Monday's game was a competitive one in the early innings. The score was tied, 2-2, until Hickory (38-24, 79-49) plated a run in the sixth and then added an insurance run in the ninth. The Crawdads inch closer to a playoff spot. They are the overwhelming favorite to clinch the second Northern Division playoff spot.
Chambers is now 7-for-his-last-13 after the two-hit game on Monday, including six RBI. The Knoxville, Tennessee, native has now posted three straight two-RBI games. Chambers has reached safely in seven consecutive games as well.
Both teams scored a pair of runs in the third. Hickory got things started with Kole Enright's single to kick off the frame against Columbia's (27-36, 51-78) newest reliever Connor Wollersheim. The lefty next retired Jonathan Ornelas and got Jax Biggers to ground a pitch to Chambers at first. Chambers didn't field the ball cleanly and both runners were safe following the error. Two batters later, the mighty Tyreque Reed drove his teammates in with a double to the center-field wall. Wollersheim soon worked out of the jam, but the Crawdads led, 2-0.
That all changed when Chambers redeemed himself in the bottom half of the inning. With Ronny Mauricio aboard, Chambers ripped a Hans Crouse (W, 6-1) pitch over the right-field wall, his fifth homer of the season.
Ornelas wound up driving in a run in the sixth and after Kole Enright hit a solo homer in the ninth, the Fireflies found themselves down two heading to the final half inning. Crawdads reliever Kelvin Gonzalez (S, 5) retired the side in order to clinch the win.
Gerson Molina also finished with a pair of hits at the plate on Monday.
Game two of the series features a pair of right-handers on the mound: Alec Kisena (4-2, 3.61) for Columbia and Ricky Vanasco (0-0, 1.80) for Hickory. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 ET on Tuesday.
With each game this week, the build up for the home finale grows. On Thursday, Segra Park will host Grateful Dead Night. Not only does the home season end with a Budwesier Thirsty Thursday, but the first 1,000 fans to park also receive a Grateful Dead t-shirt. Tickets can be purchased at FirefliesTickets.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.