By Sam Hyman
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The offense received contributions from hitters across the board in Columbia's 9-5 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets on Saturday night. The seventh and eighth place batters, Anthony Dimino and Brandon Brosher provided the spark, reaching base a combined six times and scoring four runs.
The Fireflies improved to 3-0 on the young season, in large part due to the early offense. Through three contests, Columbia has tallied 20 of its 30 runs in the first four innings. The Fireflies also recorded five steals for the second straight game.
Dimino jumpstarted a four-run second inning with a single. Later in the stanza, Luis Carpio singled to right field and that scored Brosher. During that play, Augusta (0-3) outfielder Sandro Fabian misfired on a throw to third base. The ball trickled behind the bag, leaving enough time for Gene Cone to score from third. The Fireflies continued to capitalize off Augusta errors. Carpio scored the fourth run of that inning on a wild pitch.
Columbia drew three walks, stole three bases, and added three more runs in the third frame. Cone delivered with an RBI single. It was the first hit of the season for the local product.
Augusta starter Cameron Avila-Leeper (L, 0-1) was tagged with the loss after lasting just two innings. He absorbed seven runs during that span and issued five walks. Columbia starter Gabriel Llanes maneuvered through 4.1 innings before giving way to reliever Taylor Henry (W, 1-0). The southpaw picked up the win after 2.2 innings on the hill. Adonia Uceta closed the door and picked up the save with two shutout innings.
The Fireflies aim for the four-game sweep of the GreenJackets on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park. Right-hander Merandy Gonzalez starts for the Fireflies and faces righty Melvin Adon for Augusta.