LEXINGTON, KY – Thomas McIlraith returned to Columbia in style on Monday. The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings and led the Fireflies to a 4-0 victory over the Legends. It was Columbia's 10th shut-out win of the season.
McIlraith pitched in seven games a year ago for the Fireflies – his most notable outing coming on April 9, 2016, when he helped no-hit Charleston. The righty scattered six hits on Monday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark and never looked phased. Behind him, Taylor Henry (2 IP, 0 H, 2 K) and Adam Atkins (1 IP, 0 H, 1 K) were effective out of the bullpen.
The visitors rattled Lexington (2-3, 36-38) starter and SAL All-Star Jace Vines (L, 7-3) in the first inning. Andres Gimenez singled up the middle and moved into scoring position when Jacob Zanon walked. Dash Winningham plated Gimenez with a well-struck base hit to left. Columbia lead, 1-0.
Jay Jabs made a splash in the third inning when he shattered a two-run home run over the right-field wall. Jabs is on one of the best stretches of his professional career. The outfielder has reached base safely in 13 straight games.
The Fireflies plated one more in the sixth to pull ahead 4-0. Arnaldo Berrios doubled off of Vines and two batters later, Zanon drove him home with a single.
All 10 Columbia (2-3, 42-31) hitters on Monday reached base safely. Gimenez finished with an impressive three hits.
The Fireflies and Legends are back in action again on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. The probable starters are a pair of lefties: Blake Taylor (0-7, 3.98) for Columbia and Andre Davis (4-2, 4.60) for Lexington.