COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Fireflies produced a late-inning surge on Wednesday night at Spirit Communications Park. The squad trailed 3-2 after seven frames and then exploded with six runs in the eighth. Columbia defeated Hagerstown, 8-3, and claimed its first series win of the season.
The home team pounced on Hagerstown's reliever Carlos Acevedo in the eighth inning. Dan Rizzie sparked the offense with a single. Edgardo Fermin followed with a bunt single. After Blake Tiberi earned a walk, Matt Winaker crushed a ball off the right-field wall that plated Rizzie. Columbia tied the game, 3-3, and the bases remained loaded for more potential damage in the frame.
Rigoberto Terrazas dented the Suns' bullpen again and delivered a single into the outfield. Fermin scored on the base hit and the Fireflies grabbed a 4-3 advantage. With just one out and the bases still juiced in the eighth, Walter Rasquin put the game to rest. The 22-year-old cleared the bases with a triple. The Fireflies held a convincing 8-3 lead at that point. This is already the third time through the first seven games the club has tallied six runs in one frame - the other two times coming on April 5th and April 9th.
Before this scoring outbreak, it was a pitcher's duel. Columbia's Tony Dibrell completed a career-high six innings with seven strikeouts. Dibrell had a small hiccup in the fifth and yielded three runs. Nick Raquet also battled through six frames for the Suns and posted a career-high six strikeouts. Hagerstown led just 3-1 after six innings.
The Fireflies' relievers tossed three scoreless innings with a combined four strikeouts. Josh Payne earned his first win of the season. The right-hander tossed a scoreless eighth inning and had two strikeouts.
There was plenty of balance across the board when it was all said and done. Seven Fireflies registered at least one hit and six different players drove in at least one run. Columbia has won three of its four games by five runs or more this season.
The club embarks on its first road trip of the season on Thursday night. The Fireflies begin a four-game series in Asheville, North Carolina, with the Tourists. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at McCormick Field. Joe Cavallaro (1-0, 3.00) makes his second start for Columbia this year. Asheville sends righty Erick Julio (0-1, 13.50) to the hill.
You can listen to the action on Fox Sports Radio 1400 beginning at 6:45 p.m. in Columbia.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.