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Fireflies Split Doubleheader with Pelicans

Pitching staff only allows two runs across the two games
July 17, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Columbia Fireflies played in and split their third doubleheader of the season at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark Saturday evening. The pitching staff was dominant, only allowing a pair of runs across the two contests. Game One Columbia shelled the Pelicans in game one, taking the

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Columbia Fireflies played in and split their third doubleheader of the season at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark Saturday evening. The pitching staff was dominant, only allowing a pair of runs across the two contests.

Game One

Columbia shelled the Pelicans in game one, taking the game 7-0 behind a dominant performance from Cruz Noriega and an offensive explosion from the line-up.

Juan Carlos Negret led the charge, blasting his 16th and 17th homers in the fourth and seventh innings. It was the right fielders fourth multi-homer game of the young season and increased his League-Leading homer total. The homer in the fourth broke the scoreless tie and allowed the Fireflies to get the offensive ball moving. Later in the frame, Omar Hernandez doubled and the next batter, Felix Familia hit a two-out single to increase the Fireflies lead to 2-0.

The Fireflies scored three more in the fifth. Darryl Collins knocked Tyler Tolbert in with a single before Saul Garza had his first hit donning a Columbia uniform. The infielder lined a double to center to plate Collins and Negret to put the Fireflies in front 5-0.

Starter Noriega (W, 4-2) was able to work five three-hit innings before giving the ball to Zack Phillips who spun a pair of one-hit innings to close the door on the Pelicans. It marked the Fireflies fourth shutout of the season.

Game Two

The Fireflies couldn’t complete the sweep as the bats fell silent in a 2-0 loss to the Pelicans in the second game of the evening.

Both pitching staffs flew through the first four innings, but it was the Pelicans who scratched the scoreboard first in the fifth. With two outs and Jordan Nwogu on second, Fabian Pertuz punched a ball through the hold between first and second to break the scoreless tie on the Pelicans third hit of the game.

Emilio Marquez (L, 4-1) was on the hook for the loss after allowing a single run through five innings in his first start since May 26 at Augusta. He then passed the ball to Chase Wallace, who allowed a run to come through in his lone inning of relief work.

When looking back at this game, it’ll be hard not to point fingers at the top of the fifth inning, where Columbia loaded the bases without recording an out, but failed to score a run after a Matt Schmidt strikeout and a Tyler Tolbert grounder into a double play to allow Jarod Wright (W, 1-1) to escape the frame.

The Fireflies close out their series in Myrtle Beach tomorrow evening at 6:05 pm at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Stadium. Columbia has yet to name their starter, but the Pelicans will send RHP Richard Gallardo (2-5, 4.99 ERA) to the bump.

Columbia returns home Tuesday, July 20 to open up a seven-game set against the Augusta GreenJackets. The Fireflies will be celebrating Frontline Workers Appreciation Night, brought to you by T-Mobile, Princess Knight, presented by Lowes Foods and will have a t-shirt giveaway during the series. To purchase tickets for the event, visit FirefliesTickets.com.