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Fireflies Drop Opener, Noriega Gets Immaculate Inning

Fireflies pitcher tosses three strikeouts in nine pitches in the fifth
May 5, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Columbia Fireflies bats stayed stagnant and the Augusta GreenJackets took the season opener at SRP Park 8-1 Wednesday evening. Despite a rough outing, Fireflies pitcher Cruz Noriega provided a jolt of energy in the middle innings for the Fireflies (0-1). The righty worked three frames and

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Columbia Fireflies bats stayed stagnant and the Augusta GreenJackets took the season opener at SRP Park 8-1 Wednesday evening.

Despite a rough outing, Fireflies pitcher Cruz Noriega provided a jolt of energy in the middle innings for the Fireflies (0-1). The righty worked three frames and fanned six batters, but when he entered the game in the fifth inning, he did something truly special. The Venezuelan pitcher faced Vaughn Grissom, Stephen Paolini and Brandon Parker for the GreenJackets (1-0). Noriega threw nine pitches, all for strikes and wrung up all Augusta hitters for the first immaculate inning in Columbia Fireflies history.

The Fireflies jumped out quickly, scoring their lone run in the first inning. GreenJackets’ starter Alec Barger issued a pair of one out walks before designated hitter Brady McConnell slapped a base hit to left to score Darryl Collins to make the score 1-0.

After that, it was all Augusta GreenJackets. Augusta scored a pair in the second to retake the lead and scored an additional three runs in the third to make the score 5-1. Adrian Alcantara (L, 0-1) only lasted two innings and threw 49 pitches before getting pulled. He struck out all six batters that he retired before handing the ball to Patrick Smith.

Columbia and Augusta will play a doubleheader tomorrow at Augusta beginning at 5:05 pm. The two teams will play a pair of seven inning games. Columbia will offer RHP Anderson Paulino (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in the first game and LHP A.J. Block (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in game two. Meanwhile, Augusta willi ride with RHP Darius Vines (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in game one and RHP Tyler Owens (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in game two.

The Fireflies return home to Segra Park May 11 to take on the Charleston RiverDogs for six games. Tickets are on sale at FirefliesTickets.com.