COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Fireflies dropped their first game of the season to the GreenJackets, 6-2, on Saturday night at Spirit Communications Park. Despite the loss, Columbia's Jake Simon was impressive in his 2018 debut. The southpaw allowed only one run in six frames.
The offense was quiet over the first six innings. Augusta (1-2) held a slim 1-0 advantage heading into the seventh stanza. Ryan Kirby led off with a walk and Jacob Gonzalez doubled to begin the top of that frame. Manuel Geraldo knocked Kirby in with a sacrifice fly. Moments later, John Riley smashed an RBI double and gave the GreenJackets a 3-0 edge.
Gio Alfonzo drove in Columbia's (2-1) first run with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Fast forward to the eighth, Quinn Brodey added the home team's second run of the contest. The Stanford product recorded an RBI single, which plated Blake Tiberi . Brodey is off to a hot start in 2018 with a team-best three RBI's - one in each of the first three games. The Fireflies trailed 4-2 at this point, but the visitors didn't slow up and added two more runs in the top of the ninth to seal the deal.
The GreenJackets rode the arm of their starting pitcher John Gavin. The lefty tossed 4.2 scoreless innings and registered four strikeouts. This was the 22-year-old's first professional start in the Giants farm system.
Columbia out-hit Augusta, 9-7, with five of the nine hits coming from Tiberi and Raphael Gladu . Tiberi had two singles and Gladu became the second Firefly this year to produce a three-hit game.
The two clubs turn their attention to Sunday afternoon for the finale of this four-game series. The Fireflies send a highly touted prospect to the mound. After recovering from injury over the last two years, Anthony Kay is scheduled to make is professional debut. The southpaw was selected in the first round by the Mets in the 2016 MLB Draft. Lefty Joe Marciano is slated to start for the GreenJackets. The game is available on MiLB.tv and on Fox Sports Radio 1400 AM in Columbia or on the TuneIn Radio App.
For tickets to Sunday's game, fans can visit FirefliesTickets.com or call (803)-726-4487.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.