By Jerry Del Priore
The Columbia Fireflies had just two hits, but they made them count. The second, a Raphael Gladu double down the right-field line in the tenth inning, plated catcher Ali Sanchez to give the Fireflies a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Lexington Legends (13-12) Thursday night at Spirts Communications Park in a South Atlantic League (SAL) game.
Both starting hurlers took no-hitters into the sixth frames. Fireflies pitcher Tony Dibrell wound up giving up only one knock, while striking out six over six innings. Legends pitcher Daniel Tillo fanned the first nine Columbia (14-13) batters he faced and recorded 6.1 no-hit innings.
But then Tillo walked two hitters and surrendered a three-run homer to outfielder Quinn Brodey that gave the Fireflies a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth. However, Nick Pratto—the top-rated Royals prospect—launched a solo home run off of reliever Trey Cobb (W, 1-0) that tied the contest at 3-3 in the top of the ninth.
Cobb would settle down, though, and register a scoreless tenth, setting the stage for Gladu’s bottom of the tenth theatrics.
Also of annotation, Firefly first baseman Jeremy Vasquez walked and extended his franchise-record on-base streak to 26 straight tilts.