After a slow start to their home opener, the Columbia Fireflies (4-3) mustered up a two-run, four-hit eighth inning to lift the Royals Low-A team to a 4-3 victory over Charleston (4-3) at Segra Park.
The Columbia win was highlighted by an RBI-triple from outfielder Darryl Collins in the eighth that got things rolling for the Fireflies. Infielder Brady McConnell later brought Collins home in the inning with an RBI-single to left to ultimately decide the game.
Infielder Meikel Garcia showed up to the plate as well for the Fireflies as he knocked a double into deep right-center field to score two runs in the fifth inning. Along with Collins, outfielder Diego Hernandez had a multi-hit outing to bring his early-season batting average up to .421.
The Fireflies win was also highlighted by some stellar pitching, notably from starting righty Delvin Capellan and relieving right-hander Anderson Paulino. The duo combined for nine strikeouts and allowed just three hits through eight innings of work.
Closing lefty Walter Pennington also showed up on the mound for Columbia as he recorded the final two outs to secure the series-opening win.
The Fireflies pitching staff also stood tall in situations where the RiverDogs could’ve gone on a scoring streak and taken the lead. However, Charleston was unable to muster up a multi-run inning against Columbia.
This was partially evidenced by Pennington’s final strikeout in the ninth in a bases-loaded situation for the 23-year-old prospect.
Statlines for top Royals prospects
Kansas City’s 25th ranked prospect Brady McConnell finished his night with one-for-four hitting along with one RBI. 18th ranked prospect Darryl Collins capped off the win garnering two hits in four at-bats with an RBI.
The Fireflies will be back on the diamond on Wednesday night at Segra Park as they will play in game two against the RiverDogs. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. EST and can be seen on MiLB.TV. Matt Stil will be on the mound for Columbia.