By Sam Hyman
AUGUSTA, GA – The Fireflies registered their fourth shut-out win of the season, 1-0, over the GreenJackets on Saturday night. Righty Merandy Gonzalez went seven and two-thirds innings without a walk. Columbia owns six wins in the seven matchups this year against Augusta.
At one point, Gonzalez (W, 2-0) retired 13 batters in a row during his terrific performance. The 21-year-old threw 91 pitches in the game, which turned out to be the longest outing of his minor league career. Augusta (2-8) starter Melvin Adon (L, 0-2) completed five and a third innings with seven strikeouts.
Augusta and Columbia (7-3) combined for just eight hits. The Fireflies tallied the only run of the contest in the second inning. Dash Winningham and Jose Medina started off the frame with a pair of singles (the hit extended Winningham's on-base streak to 10 games). Tim Tebow grounded a ball over to second base and reached on a fielder's choice, which scored Winningham.
Cam Griffin earned the save with an inning and a third on the mound. It was his first since August 11, 2015 (the right-hander missed all of last season due to injury).
The game finished in just two hours and 20 minutes – so far, the shortest game of the Fireflies' campaign.
The Fireflies have a chance to claim the series on Sunday afternoon in game four of this installment against the GreenJackets. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Righty Colin Holderman (1-0, 0.00) makes the start for Columbia. Augusta counters with left-hander Caleb Baragar (0-0, 4.50) on the mound.