Baseball

Tebow finishes week on a positive note

Tim Tebow's progress following seven-game road trip

Fireflies manager Jose Leger discusses how Tim Tebow is faring after long road trip.
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Fireflies manager Jose Leger discusses how Tim Tebow is faring after long road trip.

A look back at how the Columbia Fireflies fared this week and a look at what is ahead:

How they fared: Columbia is in third place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division standings after a 3-4 week. The Fireflies are 10-8 on the season and trail first-place Rome by 1  ½ games.

Tebow Watch: Tim Tebow showed some progress and finished the week on a strong note. The former Heisman trophy winner had multi-hit games Friday and Sunday against Lexington and got his average up to .218 to end the week.

Tebow had three hits on Friday and followed that with a 2-for-4 performance Sunday against the Legends to go 5-for-10 in the series with a pair of doubles.

Through 15 games, he leads the team with two homers and third on the club with nine RBI.

“It’s going to be day by day with him as he gets adjusted to baseball,” Fireflies manager Jose Leger said Thursday. “He works hard and is going to be alright. Biggest thing is continue to get a lot of reps. He is still trying to get adjusted at the plate. Sometime he has it, sometime he doesn’t. But he definitely is putting in the work to get better.”

Dueling aces: There has been no better duo in minor league baseball than Fireflies’ starters Merandy Gonzalez and Jordan Humphreys. The two pitchers are each 3-0 with Gonzalez yet to allow an earned run in 20  2/3 innings pitched. Humphreys has a 0.96 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 18  2/3 innings.

No other team in professional baseball has two pitchers on the same team with three victories.

“They got a lot of confidence and are focused,” Leger said of the two pitchers. “They came prepared out of spring training. They were pounding the strike zone and having a good command of all of their pitches. They are not afraid to come in to the plate.”

Cone streaking: Former Spring Valley and South Carolina standout Gene Cone finished the week with a five-game hitting streak and saw his average rise from .225 to .276. He was given the day off Sunday.

Cone has four multi-hit games on the season.

Lindsay’s struggles: Desmond Lindsay, a second round pick by the Mets in the 2015 draft, continues his slow start. The outfielder went 3-for-21 this week and is hitting just .122 on the season.

Packing them in: Columbia leads the South Atlantic with 5,704 fans coming to Spirit Communications Park per game. The Fireflies have drawn 62,751 through the first 11 home games. Last year through 11 games, the club drew almost 42,000.

This week’s schedule: The Fireflies will host Asheville in a three-game series beginning at 7:05 p.m. Monday. The final two games of the series are both at 11 a.m. Columbia finishes the week at Hickory.

Tebow’s statistics

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

Avg.

Week

21

2

6

0

0

.286

Season

55

5

12

2

9

.218

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