By Brendan Glasheen, Columbia Fireflies
COLUMBIA, SC — Wednesday night's contest at Spirit Communications Park between Columbia and Lexington started as a pitcher's duel but ended with another Fireflies offensive outburst. Vinny Siena and David Thompson combined to reach base seven times and paced Columbia (12-8) to a 7-2 win over the Legends. Siena registered two hits, while Thompson drove in a pair of runs. The Fireflies have won six of their last seven games.
Before the offense took charge, the Fireflies leaned on starting pitcher P.J. Conlon (W, 3-0). The lefty allowed just one earned run over seven innings. The left-hander mixed his pitches beautifully, striking out seven, a new career high. The seven frames Conlon pitched are the most a Columbia starting pitcher has logged in a game this season.
The Fireflies backed Conlon quickly in the first inning. Thompson doubled off of Lexington starter Emilio Ogando (L, 2-1) to plate Siena.
Lexington (8-12) responded with a run in the top of the third. Cody Jones smacked a triple down the left-field line and Jecksson Flores followed with a sacrifice fly to bring him home and even the score, 1-1.
The game remained tied heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Siena-Thompson duo struck again. Siena tripled to left-centerfield and his fellow infielder sliced a base knock into right to give the Fireflies the lead. Thompson's 23 RBIs are still the most in the South Atlantic League. He then swiped second base and reached third on a throwing error. A passed ball eventually allowed Thompson to score a key insurance run.
With a 3-1 lead, Conlon escaped trouble in the seventh, stranding the tying runs on first and third. The home team padded its lead further in the bottom half of the frame when Tucker Tharp and Dash Winningham drove in three runs to put their team up, 6-1.
Lexington and Columbia traded runs in the eighth inning, but reliever Johnny Magliozzi finished off the Legends in the top of the ninth.
The Fireflies go for the sweep of Lexington on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park. Manager Jose Leger hands the ball off to right-hander Thomas McIlraith (1-1, 5.14) to face Legends righty Scott Blewett (1-2, 6.11)
You can listen to the action on WGCV 620 AM, 105.1 and 96.3 FM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 7:00 p.m.