COLUMBIA, SC - Gabriel Llanes finished one out shy of his second complete game of the season, but his effort on Sunday still led Columbia to a 3-2 victory over Charleston. The Fireflies have won eight in a row and 10 straight at home. With seven games left in the first half of the season, Columbia is just one game behind the first place Greenville Drive (who are in action later this evening).
Llanes (W, 4-3) has logged seven or more innings in three straight starts. His outing on Sunday wasn't even his longest of the season; on May 10, the right-hander went the distance and defeated the Delmarva Shorebirds in Maryland.
Remarkably, a Columbia (36-25) starter has lasted six or more innings in seven straight games (all wins).
The only Charleston (30-33) offense came in the third (Eduardo Navas home run) and fifth (Navas run-scoring groundout) frames.
For the 12th time over the last 13 games, the Fireflies scored first. This time with three in the second against starter Adonis Rosa (L, 1-2). Dash Winningham , Luis Carpio and Jay Jabs began the inning with consecutive singles. Two batters later, Tim Tebow drilled a base hit through the right side of the infield that plated two. Tebow has reached base safely in three straight.
With Ali Sanchez at third, Reed Gamache soared a fly ball to right field. Isiah Gilliam made the catch but could not throw out Sanchez tagging from third. Columbia led, 3-0.
The Fireflies are 12-2 over their last 14 games and 15-5 since May 24. At that point in the season, Columbia had just lost three straight and sat just a game above .500. Now the club is 11 games over .500.
The Fireflies can sweep their third straight opponent at home (this potentially being an improbable five-game sweep) with a win over the RiverDogs on Monday at 7:05 p.m. The scheduled starters are lefty Blake Taylor (0-6, 4.47) for Columbia and right-hander Brian Keller (4-5, 4.30) for Charleston.
You can watch the action on MiLB.tv starting at 7:00 p.m. or listen in on ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and on the TuneIn app at 6:45 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.