AUGUSTA, GA - Andres Gimenez provided the big blast in extra innings on Sunday night. With the score tied, 4-4, the Mets prospect doubled in two runs in the top of the 13th and rallied Columbia to victory over Augusta, 6-4.
Luis Carpio rocked one of his four hits on Sunday to open up the 13th frame. A passed ball allowed him to move to second and then Arnaldo Berrios bunted Carpio into scoring position. Gimenez stepped to the plate after Augusta (41-67) decided to intentionally walk Brandon Brosher . It set up a lefty-lefty matchup with Caleb Smith (L, 1-1) on the mound. Gimenez smoked a fastball over Johneshwy Fargas' head in centerfield and that gave the visitors the lead for good.
Matt Blackham (S, 2) tossed a scoreless bottom of the 13th to close out the series finale.
Columbia (57-53) avoided the sweep with the victory. Gimenez wasn't the only star. Carpio's four-hit game was his first of the season. Berrios also ripped three hits on Sunday.
For the first time in the series, Columbia scored first. Ian Strom led off the second frame with a walk and moved into scoring position after Dan Rizzie grounded out. Carpio knocked Strom in with a single to right field.
Three innings later, the GreenJackets took the lead. Sandro Fabian slashed a one-out double and scored on Adam Sonabend's single. Christian Paulino then scorched a base hit and Sonabend zoomed to third base. After Paulino swiped second, Fargas drove both runners in with a bullet down the left-field line. Augusta pulled ahead, 3-1.
Later on, Carpio and Berrios whacked back-to-back singles to lead off the seventh. Jay Jabs bunted the pair into scoring position and the table was set for Gimenez. The Venezuelan bounced a slow roller to the second baseman Kelvin Beltre. He booted the baseball and both runners scored, tying the game. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Strom roped a single up the middle that plated Gimenez. The visitors led, 4-3.
Augusta fought back with a run in the bottom of the eighth. This time it was Jose Vizcaino who plated a run to knot the game up at 4-4.
Columbia is now 4-4 in extra-inning games. The club played in three this week - twice in Charleston and on Sunday at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The Fireflies head back to Columbia to begin a seven-game homestand. It kicks off with a three-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Justin Brantley (0-0, 5.40) starts for the Fireflies and faces righty Nick Green (7-7, 4.52) for the RiverDogs.
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 game live on MiLB.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.