HICKORY, NC – A pair of Fireflies bashed home runs on Friday night, but Columbia fell to Hickory in a high-scoring affair, 11-7. Desmond Lindsay and Michael Paez each drilled two-run homers (two of the four hit at L.P. Frans Stadium) – Lindsay's coming in the second inning and Paez's happening in the seventh.
The long ball occurred in Lindsay's first at-bat on Friday night. His final at-bat in Thursday's game was also a dinger. The outfielder is on a four-game hit streak and has back-to-back multi-hit games in the series with Hickory (8-14).
Columbia (12-11) fell into a 6-0 hole in the first. The Crawdads' big inning was highlighted by Yeyson Yrizarri's three-run home run. Lindsay's blast in the next half inning cut the deficit to four runs.
More offense was on display in the third. Gene Cone led off the frame with a single, moved to second base on a groundout and scored later in the inning when Dash Winningham ripped a base hit.
Yanio Perez homered for Hickory in the bottom of that third inning, though, off of Fireflies' starter Blake Taylor (L, 0-4). The Crawdads led, 8-3.
Right after Milton Ramos knocked in a run for the visitors in the fourth, the Crawdads immediately responded with two more in the home half and extended the lead back to six runs. Another score in the fifth put Hickory ahead, 10-4.
Columbia wasn't done rallying. Cone began the seventh with a base hit and two batters later, a determined Paez came to the plate against reliever Kaleb Fontenot (W, 1-0). He whacked his third homer of the season well over the left-center field wall and the Fireflies were back within five. The following frame, Lindsay reached base for the third time with a free pass. Ramos then rocked a fastball into the right-centerfield gap. Lindsay scored and Ramos wound up at third with an RBI triple. Columbia's feverish comeback bid ended there, though.
Every Fireflies' batter recorded a hit on Friday for the first time this season. Ramos, Cone and Brandon Brosher tallied multiple hits.
Columbia and Hickory battle again on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Right-handed ace Jordan Humphreys (4-0, 1.42) starts for the Fireflies and faces righty Argenis Rodriguez (0-2, 10.13) for the Crawdads.
You can catch the action on ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 5:45 p.m.