COLUMBIA, SC - The Delmarva Shorebirds closed out one of the greatest months in franchise history in style, holding on to beat the Columbia Fireflies 6-3 on Tuesday night at Segra Park.
Ofelky Peralta (1-0) earned his long-awaited first win for the Shorebirds (18-4), allowing one hit over 5.2 scoreless innings, walking none and striking out three. Peralta, who allowed merely a second-inning single to Jose Medina, retired the final 12 in a row to face him, lowered his ERA to 0.89, and extended his scoreless streak to 10.2 innings.
Christian James (0-4) took the loss for the Fireflies (8-16), giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits in four innings.
Delmarva slowly but surely piled on the runs in the middle innings. In the second, Nick Horvath reached on a two-out two-base error at third by Mark Vientos, and Seamus Curran singled him home to make it 1-0 Shorebirds.
Adam Hall led off the top of the third with a single but was caught stealing second base. Robert Neustrom followed with a base knock to the wall in right, but came up limping at first and grasping at his calf. Neustrom exited in favor of pinch-runner Robbie Thorburn, who stayed in the game in left field. Two batters later, Doran Turchin got one in the air to left that landed just over the wall for a two-run homer, his third of the year, to boost the lead to 3-0.
Another Vientos error put Jean Carlos Encarnacion at second to lead off the fourth, then after a flyout Curran smacked another single into center that got by Bradley Marquez, allowing Encarnacion to score to make it 4-0 Delmarva. In the sixth, Curran managed a two-out single and went to third on a Ryne Ogren ground-rule double. After a pitching change and a hit batsman to load the bases, Columbia reliever Bryce Hutchinson flinched for a balk, forcing in Curran to put the Shorebirds up 5-0.
The Fireflies began making moves once Peralta made his exit. Shervyen Newton led off the seventh with a single, then two batters later Vientos and Wagner Lagrange singled back-to-back to load the bases. Medina hit one on the ground to third for a force at second but beat the return throw to avoid the double play, allowing Columbia to scrape one across and make it 5-1 Delmarva.
Brian Sharp tripled with two out in the bottom of the eighth and scored on a Newton single to get the Fireflies within 5-2. The Shorebirds got that run back with one swing in the ninth as Hall led off with a solo home run, his first of the season and the second of his career, to push the Delmarva lead back to 6-2.
Lagrange drew a walk to lead off the bottom of hte ninth, then Medina and Carlos Sanchez beat out singles to load the bases with nobody out and bring the potential tying run to bat in Marquez. Undaunted, Shorebird reliever Nick Gruener got Marquez to bounce one to second for a 4-6-3 double play. Lagrange scored to make it 6-3 but the two-out trade proved critical for the Fireflies. Gruener coaxed a grounder to second off the bat of Ronny Maurcio to bring proceedings to an end.
Turchin finished 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs, and an HBP for the Shorebirds. Curran went 3-for-4 with a run and RBI, and Hall had two hits, including his solo bomb.
Newton and Medina each had two hits and an RBI for the Fireflies.
The Shorebirds turn the calendar to May with a Wednesday morning bout against the Fireflies. Hector Guance (0-0, 5.25) is set to start for Delmarva against Columbia's Simeon Woods Richardson (0-2, 1.23). First pitch is set for 11:05 a.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 10:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.