Fireflies Battle Into Extra Innings on Wednesday Night

Pedro Lopez (JEFF BLAKE)

By Kevin Fitzgerald | June 12, 2019 10:54 PM

COLUMBIA, SC - Columbia and Asheville were tied much of the night on Wednesday at Segra Park. The Tourists scored three times in the 10th, though, and defeated the Fireflies in the series finale, 6-4.


The game had been tied, 3-3, from the fifth inning through the ninth. The extra frame began with Daniel Montano at second (the last Asheville batted out in the ninth, as per Minor League Baseball's extra-inning regulations) and the visitors wasted little time scoring. Kyle Datres dropped what would've been a sacrifice bunt down back to the pitcher, Jose Moreno (L, 2-3). The right-hander sailed the throw wide of first and the error enabled Montano to score from third. Terrin Vavra and Niko Decolati each plated runs in the inning and the Tourists were quickly in front, 6-3.


Columbia (24-38) did make some noise in the bottom of the 10th. Mark Vientos drilled a base hit off of closer Alexander Martinez (S, 14) that scored Gerson Molina from second. Martinez has proved to be an expert in these situations and soon retired the side.


The Fireflies dropped to 1-2 in extra-inning games this season. The home team also lost the rubber match of the series on Wednesday - Asheville (29-37) took two out of three.


Chase Chambers was impressive in the finale and posted his 10th multi-hit game of the year. The first baseman doubled, singled and plated two.


The Tourists tallied three hits in the first inning against starter Willy Taveras with the third being the loudest. Johnny Cresto smoked a double and scored Coco Montes from second base. Taveras forced the next hitter, Willie MacIver, to pop out to third to retire the side and strand two runners on base.


In the second, Montes helped Asheville take a 3-0 lead with a two-run double. Taveras then settled down. He didn't allow another run the remainder of the evening and retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.


And the right-hander left with the game tied. Columbia knotted things up just as quickly as the visitors had taken a lead. Molina and Hansel Moreno both stroked singles off of Asheville spot starter Jake Bird. With two outs, Chambers came up big with a two-run base hit up the middle.


Some shoddy Tourists defense in the following inning helped the Fireflies. First, shortstop Terrin Vavra commit a throwing error on a routine groundball off of Juan Uriarte's bat. Brian Sharp then reached as well on another throwing error moments later, this time after a grounder to the third baseman Cresto. Uriarte swung to third base and scored when Molina bounced a ground ball to third base. The fielder's choice allowed the home team to tie things up at 3-3.


The home team's bullpen was fantastic on Wednesday. First Allan Winans registered back-to-back scoreless innings of work after he relieved Taveras. Winans allowed just one hit and struck out two, but was out-done by the next arm out of the 'pen, Tylor Megill . The 6-7 right-hander from California retired all six batters he faced and fanned four.


Columbia begins a new series against the Lexington Legends on Thursday and, good news, it's a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday™, featuring half-price draft beer and fountain drinks. First pitch is slated for 7:05 ET and right-hander Colin Holderman (3-1, 3.86) is expected to start for the Fireflies.


You can watch the broadcast on MiLB.TV.

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

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