LAKEWOOD, NJ – The Fireflies used three homers to push past the BlueClaws, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Park. Michael Paez and Dash Winningham produced back-to-back long balls, which broke the tie in the eighth inning. It's the club's fourth consecutive win.
Desmond Lindsay singled in the third inning, which jumpstarted Columbia's (18-16) offense. Luis Carpio recorded a sacrifice fly and scored Lindsay for the first run of the game. The Fireflies added to their lead when Brandon Brosher smashed a two-run homer in the fourth inning. It was Brosher's second blast of the season and gave the visitors a 3-0 advantage.
Lakewood (21-15) answered in the bottom of the fourth. With runners at second and third, Luke Williams reached on a ground ball (fielder's choice) that went towards the second-base bag and Luis Carpio's throw to third base hit the baserunner (ruled a throwing error). The ball bounced towards the mound and both runners scored. The home team added one more run during this inning and the game was tied, 3-3, after four frames.
Blake Taylor lasted six innings in his second straight outing against the BlueClaws. The lefty logged five strikeouts and paved the way for reliever Jake Simon (W, 1-1). Simon pitched three shutout innings, yielded just three hits, and had one strikeout.
Zach Morris (L, 2-2) absorbed the back-to-back home runs in just one inning (eighth) of action. Paez now has a team-leading five homers and Winningham has launched three in his previous four games. It is the first time the Fireflies hit back-to-back homers since July 24, 2016 (J.C. Rodriguez and Eudor Garcia).
The Fireflies prepare for a doubleheader against the BlueClaws on Monday evening. First pitch for game one is at 5:05 p.m. in Lakewood, NJ. Game two begins approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Harol Gonzalez (1-2, 7.27) is scheduled to start game one for the Fireflies. Right-hander Jordan Humphreys (6-0, 1.63) takes the mound for game two. The BlueClaws counter with righty Felix Paulino (1-2, 6.20) for game one and lefty Nick Fanti (2-0, 1.48) is set to start game two.
You can listen to the action on ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app Starting at 4:45 p.m.