By Jerry Del Priore
One things is for certain when pitcher Joe Cavallaro is on the mound this season: The Fireflies (Mets) have a good chance of winning. Columbia is 6-1 in games the right-hander has pitched in this year, going into Friday night’s tilt versus the Greenville Drive (Boston).
That proved to be true as Cavallaro (6-1) allowed just one run in the Fireflies’ 3-1 series-opening victory over Greenville (11-35) at Spirit Communications Park in South Atlantic League (SAL) action.
The former Univ. of South Florida Bull hasn’t permitted more than three earned runs in any of his eight outings (seven of which are starts). True to form, Cavallaro fired six innings with seven strike outs and three walks while lowering his ERA to 2.12 this year.
Offensively, left fielder Matt Winaker doubled in a run and right fielder Raphael Gladu drove in two more with a base hit to stake Columbia (25-21) to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. The only run Cavallaro surrendered was a solo homer to Drive right fielder Jagger Rusconi in the top of the sixth frame.
The Fireflies’ bullpen did the rest of the work, as relievers Taylor Henry and Stephen Villines (S, 6) kept the opposition off the scoreboard. Henry fanned three batters over 1.2 innings of work and Villines recorded the four-out save while whiffing a pair of hitters in his outing.