The Fireflies and GreenJackets seesawed back and forth early Wednesday night, but Columbia fell to Augusta, 7-3, at Lake Olmstead Stadium in the series finale. Seven Fireflies – including Milton Ramos – registered at least one base hit.
Augusta (30-28) got on the board first. Leadoff batter Jalen Miller singled and moved to second base on a throwing error. Miguel Gomez bounced out to Fireflies starter Joe Shaw (3-4), but Miller scored on the putout.
The visitors responded in the top of the second. Ramos and Dash Winningham slugged back-to-back doubles to even the score, 1-1.
Columbia (29-30) broke the tie in the third. Pat Mazeika bashed a base hit to the outfield off of GreenJackets starter Cory Taylor (5-1). One batter later, Winningham crushed a fly ball to the wall and Augusta right fielder Seth Harrison dropped the baseball on the warning track. Mazeika scored all the way from first base.
The lead slipped away in the bottom of the fourth, though. Gomez roped a double to left field to begin the frame. Soon, with runners at first and third and just one out, Kelvin Beltre reached on a fielder’s choice. Gomez scored from third and the GreenJackets managed to tack on another to swipe the lead back. They led 3-2.
Augusta never looked back. A four-run fifth inning sealed the deal for the home team. Columbia did add a run in the eighth, but that was all.
The Columbia bullpen kept the game close down the stretch. Johnny Magliozzi registered 2.1 scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Witt Haggard tossed a one-two-three eighth inning and struck out a pair of GreenJackets.
The Fireflies return home and entertain the West Virginia Power for a four-game series. Right-hander Chase Ingram (3-5, 5.03) takes the hill for Columbia and faces Power righty Gage Hinsz (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park.