Series Preview: Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies at Hickory Crawdads July 4-7
Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies (New York Mets) (31-49 overall, 7-7 second half, third place South Atlantic League Southern Division)
Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (58-25 overall, 10-4 second half, tied for first place South Atlantic League Northern Division)
The Crawdads and Fireflies play a four-game series at L.P. Frans Stadium.
IF YOU PLAN TO GO:
WHERE IS IT?: 2500 Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.
GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:
Thursday: Columbia at Hickory, 7:00 p.m. Independence Day Fireworks
Friday: Columbia at Hickory, 7:00 p.m. Post-game Fireworks, 80s Night
Saturday: Columbia at Hickory: 7:00 p.m. Space Night (50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing), Catawba Science Center Night
Sunday: Columbia at Hickory, 5:00 p.m. Llamas de Hickory night, Church Bulletin Sunday (bring a church bulletin for a $6 ticket with $4 going back to the respective church), Hospitality Night (hospitality/ service industry workers receive a free ticket with ID), Mother/ Son Date Night
TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section.
PARKING: All parking is $3.
RECENT SERIES HISTORY:
Hickory took three of four at Columbia last weekend and is 6-2 overall against the Fireflies this year. The Crawdads had much of a four-game series cancelled at L.P. Frans Stadium last month, due to heavy rains. Hickory won the only completed game of the series.
Over the three-plus seasons since the Fireflies relocation to Columbia from Savannah (Ga.) prior to the 2016 campaign, the Crawdads are 21-11 overall, but just 8-6 at home.
Since 2009, when Crawdads-Texas Rangers affiliation began, Hickory is 49-36 overall in the series, 23-17 at L.P. Frans.
PROBABLES (Columbia/ Hickory)
Thursday: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-8, 5.12 ERA) vs. RHP Yerry Rodriguez (7-3, 2.13 ERA)
Friday: RHP Willy Taveras (4-7, 5.60) vs. RHP Hans Crouse (2-0, 2.82)
Saturday: RHP Jose Butto (3-7, 3.84) vs. RHP Ronny Henriquez (3-4, 3.50)
Sunday: RHP Christian James (2-7, 4.44) vs. RHP Cole Winn (1-3, 6.15)
The Crawdads return home from a weeklong homestand after positing a 4-3 mark. However, they lost just their second series on the road when West Virginia claimed the rubber game of a three-game series on Wednesday.
Hickory is 25-13 at home after winning 10 of 12 at L.P. Frans in June and 14 of 17 overall.
Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)
Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):
RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 63 in top-100)
RHP Cole Winn No. 2 (No. 65 in top-100)
IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18
3B Sherten Apostel No. 22
RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 30
Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley (.226/.353/.298) or Melvin Novoa (.301/.376/.504); 1B Tyreque Reed (.286/.435/.600); 2B Jax Biggers (.274/.347/.369); 3B Sherten Apostel (.249/.329/.446); SS Jonathan Ornelas (.262/.325/.403); LF: Kole Enright (.250/.330/.464); CF: Miguel Aparicio (.263/.319/.434); RF: Pedro Gonzalez (.245/.304/.466)
Miguel Aparicio – Tied for 3rd triples (5), tied for 3rd sac hits (7)
Sherten Apostel – Tied for 8th home runs (12)
Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 4th home runs (14), 8th slugging pct. (.466)
Matt Whatley – Tied for 2nd walks, 8th stolen bases (19)
Grant Anderson – Tied for 7th saves (5).
Tim Brennan – Tied for 2nd wins (7), 3rd WHIP (0.96)
Yerry Rodriguez – 1st WHIP (0.92), 1st OBA (.175), tied for 2nd wins (7), 3rd ERA (2.13), 8th opponent’s batting avg. (.197)
Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.247 (2nd)/ .320 (6th)/ .421 (1st)/ .741 (1st).
Other key rankings: 1st home runs, 2nd fewest strikeouts, 3rd total bases, 3rd runs, 11th walks, 12th doubles
Team Pitching: Fewest hit batters, 2nd ERA (3.22), 2nd fewest hits, 2nd fewest runs, 2nd fewest earned runs, 2nd fewest walks, 3rd WHIP (1.17),
The Fireflies bounced back after losing last weekend’s series and took two of three from in-state rival Greenville, including a 9-2 rout Wednesday night to cap their homestand. After a SAL-worst 10-19 record on the road in the first half, split four at Asheville to open the second half before winning two of three at Southern Division and defending SAL champs Lexington (Ky.).
Manager: Pedro Lopez (2nd season)
Prospects – Columbia (rankings by MLB.com):
SS Ronny Mauricio – No. 2 (No. 82 in top 100)
3B Mark Vientos – No. 4
2B Shervyen Newton – No. 5
RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson – No. 7
LHP Thomas Szapucki – No. 8
RHP Christian James – No. 24
Possible Lineups: C: Juan Uriarte (.195/.236/.299) or Hayden Senger (.251/.345/.394); 1B: Chase Chambers (.263/.324/.344) or Brian Sharp (.203/.280/.363); 2B: Shervyer Newton (.186/.267/.271) or Walter Rasquin (.148/.222/.200); 3B: Mark Vientos (.260/.309/.396); SS: Ronny Mauricio (.289/.326/.385); LF: Wagner Lagrange (.272/.314/.413); CF: Gerson Molina (.234/.331/.379); RF: Brian Sharp, Walter Rasquin or Zach Rheams (.231/.298/.346)
Ronny Mauricio – 3rd hits
Hayden Senger – Tied for 6th hit by pitch
Brian Sharp – Tied for 10th strikeouts
Jose Butto – Tied for 5th losses (7)
Christian James – Tied for 5th losses (7)
Willy Taveras – 1st home runs allowed (15), tied for 5th losses (7), 7th runs allowed, tied for 7th earned runs allowed, tied for 8th runs allowed
Simeon Woods Richardson – Tied for 1st losses (8)
Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS): .229 (12th) / .296 (13th)/ .337 (13th)/ .633 (13th).
Other key rankings: 3rd fewest strikeouts, 12th home runs, 13th runs, 13th doubles, 13th total bases, last hits, last walks, last steals
Team pitching: 3rd runs allowed, 4th hits allowed, 11th walks allowed, 12th ERA (4.21), 12th WHIP (1.33), 13th Ks.