By Jerry Del Priore
Columbia hurler Joe Cavallaro pitched one of his finest games of the season, striking out a career-best nine batters and surrendering four hits and one run over seven innings in a Fireflies’ 3-1 South Atlantic League (SAL) victory against the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees, 17-23) Friday night at Joe Riley Park.
With the win, the righty improves his record to 5-1 and lowers his ERA to 2.21. Moreover, Columbia is 6-1 in Cavallaro’s starts this season.
Wuilmer Becerra, who had two knocks in the tilt, laced a two-run single in the top of the fourth frame. The 23-year-old right fielder flashed some leather as well, making two diving grabs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Fireflies (22-18) added another run in the top of the fifth, when RiverDogs reliever Greg Weissert uncorked a wild pitch, enabling second baseman Blake Tiberi to score from third to cap the game’s scoring.
First base New York Mets prospect and former Brooklyn Cyclone Jeremy Vasquez went 2-4 with a double and is now hitting .313—tops on Columbia.
Relievers Taylor Henry and Trey Cobb (S, 5) were superb in the late frames after Cavallaro exited the tilt. Each pitcher faced the minimum in their respective innings of work.