CHARLESTON, WV – The Fireflies lost a one-run lead on Friday, eventually falling to West Virginia, 5-4, in extra innings.
Carlos Munoz plated the tying run in the eighth and then it was Tito Polo who doubled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th at Appalachian Power Park.
The Power scored twice in the first frame. Ke'Bryan Hayes and Munoz drove in a pair of runs off of Columbia (25-23) starter Joe Shaw. The right-hander allowed just one other run in his seven innings of work. Shaw has gone seven deep in three straight starts.
The visitors tied the game in the top of third. Vinny Siena and Kevin Kaczmarski both walked and a wild pitch moved the pair into scoring position. Another pitch to the backstop enabled Siena to score the team's first run. J.C. Rodriguez later singled home Kaczmarski.
West Virginia (24-23) took a brief 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth, but the Fireflies pulled in front in the sixth with a two-out rally. After Pat Mazeika laced a base hit into right field, Milton Ramos tripled him home. The next batter, Dash Winningham, scored Ramos with a double. Columbia led 4-3.
From the ninth inning to the 11th, both teams had the go-ahead and winning runs stranded at third base twice. That was until Cole Tucker scored on Polo's game-winning double.
Sean Keselica (W, 1-0) picked up the win for the Power and Christian Montgomery (L, 0-1) was dealt the loss for the Fireflies.
Columbia and West Virginia battle again on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Manager Jose Leger hands the ball to right-hander Chase Ingram (3-3, 3.51). He takes on Power righty J.T. Brubaker (2-5, 4.40).