COLUMBIA, SC - The Fireflies' offense erupted with 12 hits for the second straight game and blanked Lexington, 8-0, on Thursday night at Spirit Communications Park. Columbia won its sixth consecutive contest at home and is seven games above .500 for the first time in franchise history. It's also the ninth shut-out win for the club this season.
Dash Winningham smashed two home runs (third and fifth inning) in the victory over Lexington (29-31). Columbia's (32-25) first baseman now has four multi-homer games in his young professional career. Winningham leads the South Atlantic League with 41 RBIs.
The Fireflies cracked the scoreboard first for the eighth time in their last nine games. Desmond Lindsay jolted the offense in the second inning with a lead-off triple against Legends starter Travis Eckert (L, 2-4). Jay Jabs delivered with an RBI single to right field - scoring Lindsay. Tim Tebow followed that up and doubled into left-center field, which put runners at second and third. Reed Gamache drove in Jabs on an RBI groundout and then Gene Cone responded with a run-scoring triple, bringing in Tebow. The home team led 3-0 after two frames.
Gary Cornish (W, 1-1) earned his first win of the season in his second professional start on the mound. The righty tossed six shut-out innings, absorbed only three hits and had four strikeouts. Cornish exited with his team up 5-0 over Lexington.
With two outs in the eighth, the Fireflies added two more runs. Tebow belted his second double of the game to left-center field. Gamache hammered a triple over Legends centerfielder Khalil Lee and scored Tebow. After Cone walked for the 35th time this year, Milton Ramos singled and plated Gamache. Cone moved to third and scored Columbia's final run on a wild pitch from Lexington reliever Geoffrey Bramblett.
Matt Blackham registered three strikeouts in two frames out of the bullpen for the home team. South Atlantic League All-Star Max Kuhns slammed the door with one scoreless stanza in the ninth.
Columbia finished with seven extra-base hits and ended up with a season-high three triples in the shut-out win. The Fireflies completed the three-game sweep and outscored Lexington 18-4 in the series.
The Fireflies are back in action on Friday night and welcome in the Charleston RiverDogs to town. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park. Righty Harol Gonzalez (2-4, 4.83) makes the start for Columbia and southpaw Phillip Diehl (6-1, 3.79) is scheduled to pitch for Charleston.
You can listen to the action on ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 6:45 p.m. You can also watch the action live on MiLB.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.