COLUMBIA, SC - Friday night was the most recent installment in a season full of outstanding performances from Ronny Mauricio . The 18-year-old played a major role in an 11-7 Fireflies victory over Greenville. Mauricio tagged the Drive for four RBIs on three hits during the evening.
One of those hits was a three-run homer that kick-started a seven-run third inning for the Columbia (22-25, 46-67) offense. Mauricio's stellar night increased his team-record season hit total to 117. If he can keep his current pace, the prospect could record between 140 and 141 hits by season's end.
Mauricio wasn't alone when it came to offensive production on Friday. The Fireflies tallied their 11 runs on 11 hits against Greenville (17-29, 49-67). Mauricio's third inning blast was followed by another jack from Brian Sharp . The back-to-back homers for the duo marked the second time that Columbia hitters have gone back-to-back against the Drive in a game this season.
Shervyen Newton added a longball of his own to put the game out of hand in the eighth. The three dingers from Fireflies hitters matched their home run total from the opener of the series, and tied a game-high for homers in 2019.
Mark Vientos joined the Firefly hit-parade with a pair of base knocks. Chandler Avant and Jose Medina also threw their names in the mix with an RBI and a hit each.
The offensive outburst pushed Columbia past Greenville in a game in which their pitching struggled in the early innings. The Drive tacked seven runs on the board between the third and fourth frames. Danny Hrbek (W, 3-0) was held responsible for two of those runs, but managed to rebound by tossing a scoreless fifth and sixth.
Willy Taveras followed Hrbek out of the pen and kept Greenville off the board through the eighth. Finally, Allan Winans continued his dominance in the second half with a scoreless ninth. The righty currently owns a 1.17 ERA in 17 appearances since the all-star break.
The Fireflies have won six straight after Friday night's victory. They find themselves just 4.5 games out of first place with 23 contests remaining on the schedule. Maybe a playoff push isn't too far off of Columbia's radar after all.
Top 3: Triston Casas triples with the bases loaded, three runs score … Jordan Wren doubles to right, Casas and Kole Cottam both score. GVL 5, COL 0
Bottom 3: Mauricio rips a three-run homer to right field … Sharp hits a solo homer to right field … Medina singles to right, Vientos scores … Chase Chambers scores on a wild pitch by Kevin Biondic … Avant singles through the middle, Medina scores. COL 7, GVL 5
Top 4: Casas singles to left, Cole Brannen scores … Wren draws a walk with the bases loaded, Everlouis Lozada scores. COL 7, GVL 7
Bottom 5: Mauricio singles into center, Hayden Senger scores. COL 8, GVL 7
Bottom 6: Newton doubles to left, Chambers scores. COL 9, GVL 7
Bottom 7: Newton smashes a two-run homer to left. COL 11, GVL 7
The Fireflies will continue their series against Greenville on Saturday night. First pitch is set for 6:05 ET with coverage beginning at 5:45 ET at MiLB.TV and FirefliesLiveStream.com.
Saturday is also the final night of Glowstock at Segra Park. There will be live musical entertainment on site both before and after the game, with performances from Interstate Exiles and Cletus Baltimore. Tickets for the festivities can be found at FirefliesTickets.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.