SALISBURY, MD - Gabriel Llanes breezed through a career-high nine innings in the 7-1 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds on Wednesday night. It was the first complete-game performance by a Columbia starter this season.
Llanes (W, 1-2) yielded just one walk and totaled five strikeouts. The 21-year-old has absorbed only three earned runs over his last 29 innings (four starts).
Columbia's (16-16) offense erupted against Delmarva (15-17) for a season-high 15 hits. The Fireflies notched a season-high five doubles - all of which came after the fifth inning. Michael Paez , Ricardo Cespedes , and Dash Winningham registered three-hit games. Paez also scored three times - the fifth time this season a Firefly has done that.
Cespedes made his Firefly debut on Wednesday and drove in the first run of the game in the third inning. Tim Tebow delivered with a two-run double in the sixth (11 RBIs this season). The Fireflies led 3-0 after six frames.
The offensive avalanche kept coming in the seventh inning. With Luis Carpio on base, Paez cracked his first of two doubles in the game, which put runners at second and third. Winningham collected a two-run single and this gave Columbia a 5-0 edge. The visitors added two more runs in the ninth.
Lucas Humpal (L, 1-3) lasted six innings for the Shorebirds, gave up nine hits, and allowed three earned runs. In his last two starts against the Fireflies, the righty has surrendered 17 hits over 12 innings.
The Fireflies prepare for a doubleheader against the Shorebirds on Thursday evening. First pitch for game one is at 6:05 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. Game two begins approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. The reigning South Atlantic League Player of the Month (April), Merandy Gonzalez (4-1, 1.89), is scheduled to start game one for the Fireflies. Southpaw Jake Simon (0-1, 0.00) takes the mound for game two. Delmarva counters with Zach Muckenhirn (1-2, 2.90) for game one and the starter for game two is to be determined.
You can listen to the action on ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app Starting at 5:45 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.