COLUMBIA, SC - The Fireflies dropped their home finale on Thursday night to the Asheville Tourists by a final score of 4-0. The final home game of the season was played in front of a crowd of 3,427 and, in total, a record 315,034 fans made it out to Spirit Communications Park in 2017. Columbia finishes the regular season with a four-game series on the road against the Rome Braves starting Friday.
Columbia (67-67) needed to win the series finale against Asheville (65-69) to stave off a sweep. Fireflies' starter Darwin Ramos (L, 2-3) had not allowed a first inning run in his four prior starts with Columbia. The Tourists, though, scored twice in the opening frame on Thursday. Max George and Manny Melendez smacked consecutive singles. George wound up at third. Tyler Nevin bounced out to third baseman Reed Gamache , but George scored. Later in the inning, Melendez stole third base. The throw from catcher Natanael Ramos bounced away from Gamache and Melendez hopped up and took off towards the plate. Asheville led, 2-0.
The only other runs scored in the fourth. Melendez, once again, got the job done for the visitors. With two aboard, the Tourists' centerfielder ripped a single that scored both Vince Fernandez and Jacob Bosiokovic.
The Fireflies threatened with runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames, but mustered no runs. Columbia tallied just four hits, three of which came against Asheville starter Logan Longwith (W, 2-0). The right-hander hurled 6.1 scoreless frames.
Two Fireflies relievers blanked Asheville over the final three innings. Taylor Henry chucked two scoreless frames and Cam Griffin struck out the side in the ninth.
Columbia embarks on its final series of the 2017 season over the weekend. The Fireflies face the Rome Braves at State Mutual Stadium starting Friday at 7:00 p.m. Columbia trots righty Gabriel Llanes (5-11, 4.59) out to the mound to face Rome lefty Joey Wentz (8-3, 2.70).
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.