Entering play Wednesday, Dan Rizzie had yet to record more than two hits in a Minor League game. He doubled that total and then some with a huge afternoon to help his team make history.The Mets prospect went 5-for-6 with a double and three RBIs as Class A Columbia set
Entering play Wednesday, Dan Rizzie had yet to record more than two hits in a Minor League game. He doubled that total and then some with a huge afternoon to help his team make history.
The Mets prospect went 5-for-6 with a double and three RBIs as Class A Columbia set a franchise record for runs scored in a 16-2 win over Lexington. Rizzie drove in runs with each of his first three hits as the Fireflies opened up a 12-1 lead after four innings.
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"You try not to think about stuff like [getting a fifth hit] but obviously it creeps into your head every once in a while," Rizzie said. "It feels good; I haven't had one of those since college, so that was fun."
The 23-year-old catcher came up with men on base in his first five at-bats, delivering RBIs in each of the first three. He did a nice job spraying his hits around the field, singling to right in the first and to left in the third before doubling to center in the fourth, a hit which scored the ninth run for Columbia and knocked Legends starter Jace Vines out of the game.
"It's easy to hit when there are guys on base in front of you every at-bat, so that was a lot of fun," Rizzie said. "You have to treat it like any other at-bat and try not to put too much pressure on yourself with guys on base."
Even with his first career three-hit game in hand, Rizzie wasn't done. New York's 13th-round pick in 2016 singled to right in the sixth before striking out swinging in the seventh, but he singled to third in the ninth to become just the second Fireflies player ever to amass five hits in a game.
Rizzie raised his average since joining Columbia from .286 to .339 with the big game, his fifth multi-hit performance in 18 games with the Fireflies. After hitting .153/.271/.169 in 59 at-bats with Class A Advanced St. Lucie through June 14, he's rebounded in his first taste of the South Atlantic League.
"I wasn't getting consistent playing time; it was a battle for me to find a way to keep my bat and mind ready," Rizzie said. "Just starting to get in rhythm and build my confidence -- and the confidence is going up -- so it's much easier to hit when you're walking up to the plate confident every time. It's good to get in a rhythm and finally start swinging well."
Left fielder Jacob Zanon went 2-for-6 and also set a Fireflies record, becoming the franchise's first player to score four runs in a game. Mets No. 7 prospectAndrés Giménez enjoyed his fourth three-hit game of the year out of the leadoff spot, and every Columbia batter had at least one hit and one run scored.
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"We've been putting together some good at-bats, and it's not like we weren't getting hits; we just haven't gotten the timely hit or the big hit lately," Rizzie said. "Today we got every timely hit, and we just want to continue that going forward and score runs for our pitching staff, which has been doing great for us."
Chase Ingram (1-0) won his first start with the Fireflies after his promotion from Class A Short Season Brooklyn, allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six in five innings.
Chris Tripodi is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @christripodi.