Colin Holderman (W, 1-0) dazzled in his first start for the Fireflies. The righty logged six shutout innings with 11 strikeouts. The 3-0 win over Hickory (1-4) gives Columbia (5-0) its fifth straight win, which ties the franchise’s longest streak. Holderman’s 11 strikeouts is a new single-game record for a Firefly. The only unbeaten team left in the South Atlantic League hails in The Midlands.
The Fireflies still haven’t trailed in five games (45 innings). Michael Paez drove in Gene Cone in the first inning on a sacrifice fly. It was the first of three sacrifice flies. Dash Winningham was responsible for another in the fifth inning and Paez followed with one in the seventh.
Columbia pitchers recorded 16 strikeouts – a career best for a nine-inning game in the organization’s history. Holderman exited the game retiring the final 11 batters he faced. It paved the way for relievers Matt Blackham and Joe Zanghi. They combined for five strikeouts and allowed just two hits. Zanghi earned his first save of the season.
Winningham and Tim Tebow both extended their hitting streaks. Winningham has hit safely in all five games, while Tebow has four hits in his first four contests.
The Fireflies are back in action Tuesday night for game two of this series against the Hickory Crawdads. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park. Lefty Blake Taylor (0-0, 0.00) makes his first start for Columbia. Hickory will send right-hander Tyler Phillips (0-0, 4.50) to the mound.
You can listen to the action on ESPN Columbia 9.49 FM and 1230 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app Starting at 6:45 p.m.