COLUMBIA, SC - It was Walter Rasquin's turn to play "hero" for Columbia on Tuesday night. Rasquin came to bat with the score tied in the seventh inning against Hickory. The game would not remain even for long, however. The 23-year-old blasted a fly ball over the wall in left field to give the Fireflies a 3-2 lead they would not squander.
Rasquin's longball rewarded a gutsy performance from his teammates. The most notable beneficiary of the game-winning homer? None other than Alec Kisena .
Columbia's (28-36) starter went deeper into a game than he ever had before in his career. Sure, Kisena's 6.2 innings weren't perfect (two runs on six hits and two walks). Sure, he may have only registered six strikeouts to Ricky Vanasco's eight. What the righty did do, however, was eat innings and keep his team in the ballgame.
Ironically, Kisena was relieved from the game one out before he would have been eligible for the win. That honor fell on the shoulders of Justin Lasko (W, 4-2). Lasko entered with one man on in the seventh inning. The former UMass hurler allowed a walk to the first man he faced, but rebounded with a punchout to the next batter.
Willy Taveras (H, 2) and Allan Winans (S, 11) joined in on the bullpen affair as well. The dynamic duo held Hickory (38-25) scoreless in the final two innings to maintain the lead and ultimately secure the victory.
Offensively, the Fireflies received additional help in the form of Mark Vientos . The right-handed slugger drove home his team-leading 61st RBI of the season on Tuesday. Vientos also scored a run in the affair. Other notables include Nick Conti, who singled and scored a run, and Brian Sharp , who recorded multiple hits in a game for the 20th time this season.
Columbia and Hickory have split the first two games of the series after Tuesday's victory. The Fireflies will host the Crawdads again on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 ET at Segra Park. The game will also feature another Trash the Poop Wag-Along Wednesday promotion. Fans are permitted to bring along a furry friend, so don't forget your dog at home.
Wednesday is also the final game in Columbia's leadup to its final home contest of 2019 on Thursday. The Fireflies will be hosting Grateful Dead Night that evening. The first 1,000 fans to enter the stadium will receive a free Grateful Dead t-shirt. It will also be a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, with $1 Bud Lights available on the centerfield concourse and half-priced drafts available elsewhere on the grounds. Tickets for each of the two remaining Columbia home games can be purchased at FirefliesTickets.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.