HAGERSTOWN, MD - Columbia's offense stayed hot and defeated the Suns, 7-5, on Sunday afternoon. The Fireflies tallied 10 more hits and have now recorded 42 in the first four games of the road trip. Columbia has also won five of its last six.
Hansel Moreno blasted his sixth home run of the season on Sunday, a two-run drive in the third frame against Hagerstown (21-31, 48-72) starter Tomas Alastre (L, 4-7). Columbia (23-30, 57-63) has drilled a homer in six straight games - the longest stretch in franchise history. The Fireflies have now recorded 17 dingers in the month of August (16 games).
Moreno made more noise as the game progressed. The switch-hitter finished with three hits and stole two bases. Moreno has reached base safely seven times and stolen five bases in the first four games of the road trip.
Edgardo Fermin (2-for-4, run, double, walk) and Dionis Paulino (2-for-5, 2 RBI) also recorded multi-hit games on Sunday.
The pitching and defense also guided Columbia to the win. Nicolas Debora stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the first when the righty struck out Kameron Esthay. Later on, Taylor Henry (W, 1-2) was called out the bullpen with the bags full again - and with just one out - in the fifth. Paul Pannaccione bounced Henry's first pitch to third baseman Rigoberto Terrazas . He started what would be an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
That wasn't all. Jay Jabs threw out what would have been the tying run at the plate to end the bottom of the eighth frame. The Fireflies took a 4-3 lead to the ninth before adding three pivotal insurance runs.
TOP 3 - Hansel Moreno bashes a two-run home run, his sixth of the year. COL 2, HAG 0
BOTTOM 3 - Omar Meregildo doubles in Jake Scudder … Two Suns score on a fielding error by Columbia first baseman Dionis Paulino. HAG 3, COL 0
TOP 5 - With the bases loaded, Matt Winaker smashes a two-run double down the right-field line. COL 4, HAG 3
TOP 9 - Zach Rheams's sacrifice fly scores Moreno from third base … Paulino strokes a two-run single into right field. COL 7, HAG 3
BOTTOM 9 - Paul Pannaccione hits an RBI double … Joey Harris plates Pannaccione with a single. COL 7, HAG 5
The Fireflies next play on Monday at 7:05 ET. Right-hander Tony Dibrell (5-5, 3.41) starts for Columbia and is scheduled to face righty Sam Held (4-6, 3.89) for the Suns.
You can listen to the action on FOX Sports Radio 1400 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the iHeartRadio app starting at 6:45 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.