Greenville, SC - The Columbia Fireflies scored three times in the top of the fifth inning and never looked back in a 7-1 defeat of the Greenville Drive on a frigid Monday night at Fluor Field.
With the score tied up at one in the fifth, the Fireflies (7-4) got the leadoff man on base via walk, and a Jay Jabs triple to the right field corner put them ahead for good. A passed ball later in the inning plated Jabs, and Quinn Brodey brought home the third run with a fielder's choice.
That inning made a winner out of Columbia starter Chris Viall (1-0). The big right-hander struck out 11 Drive (3-8) hitters in five innings of work while allowing just two hits, one run and four walks.
The Fireflies took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Edgardo Fermin led off the game with a single off Alex Scherff (0-2) and later came home on a wild pitch.
The score remained there until the Drive tied the score in the fourth. Everlouis Lozada and Michael Osinski both drew walks in the frame, and a line drive single to center by Marino Campana plated Lozada from second.
Columbia tacked on three more runs over the final two innings thanks to a two-run homer by Walter Rasquin in the eighth and an RBI hit by Matt Winaker in the ninth.
Lozada was the lone Drive player with a multi-hit night, while Osinski drew a pair of walks and has now reached base in all 10 of his games this season. Fermin went 3-4 with three runs atop the Columbia order.
The series continues on Tuesday at 7:05 PM at Fluor Field. The Drive will send left-hander Jhonathan Diaz (1-0, 1.54) to the mound, and the Fireflies will counter with right-hander Marcel Renteria (0-1, 8.31).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.