COLUMBIA, SC - Columbia welcomed an engaging and raucous crowd to Segra Park on Thursday. 6,533 Fireflies fans showed up loud and proud for the final home game of 2019. That attendance number is the third-highest home crowd for Columbia in 2019. Only July 3rd's Independence Day Celebration (7,872) and a May 22nd Reading Program game (6,603) had larger attendance numbers. Unfortunately, the packed stands didn't lead to a Fireflies victory. Columbia fell to Hickory, 5-1.
The Crawdads took control of the game with another excellent night from their pitching staff. Ronny Henriquez (W, 6-6) delivered a strong start. The righty went six innings and only allowed one run on two hits. Henriquez also recorded seven strikeouts during the affair.
Columbia (28-38) didn't fair much better against the Hickory (40-25) bullpen. Nick Snyder and Kelvin Gonzalez faced the minimum over the final three innings. The Fireflies only managed three total hits on the evening.
Ronny Mauricio drove in Columbia's only run of the night. The 18-year-old produced a sacrifice fly in the third inning to plate Gerson Molina .
Mauricio also singled later in the game. The base hit was his 123rd of the season, and further extended his hold on the team's record for hits in a single season. Mark Vientos and Guillermo Granadillo also tallied hits on the night.
Justin Lasko (L, 4-3) delivered a serviceable performance in his first professional start. The former UMass hurler allowed two runs on four hits through four innings. Cole Gordon and Allan Winans each offered scoreless relief outings to the mix.
Hickory clinched a birth in the 2019 South Atlantic League playoffs with Thursday's victory.
Top 3: Jonathan Ornelas ground out to the pitcher, Frainyer Chavez scores … Jax Biggers singles to left, Kole Enright scores. HIC 2, COL 0
Bottom 3: Mauricio flies out to center field, Molina tags and scores. HIC 2, COL 1
Top 5: Matt Whatley triples to center, Chavez scores … Enright doubles, Whatley scores … Ornelas flies out to center field, Enright scores. HIC 5, COL 1
Columbia will conclude its season with a four-game series on the road against Augusta. The opener is set for a 7:05 ET start on Monday. Christian James (3-10, 4.68) is expected to start for the Fireflies. Coverage will begin at 6:45 ET from SRP Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.