Pena’s fireworks send fans home happyApril 11, 2022
Royals’ 12th-ranked prospect hits walk-off blast in Opening Game
Outfielder Erick Peña smashed a walk-off three-run homer beyond the right field fence to send Fireflies fans home happy in a 7-6 win over the Augusta GreenJackets Friday night at Segra Park.
The walk-off homer was the Fireflies first walk-off hit since Darryl Collins’ walk-off grand slam June 26, 2021.
The Fireflies (1-0), scored seven unanswered runs beginning in the fifth inning. The rally started with a hustle play from Wilmin Candelario as Enrique Valdez hit a sacrifice fly deep to center field. Edgar Martinez scored on the sacrifice, but Candelario hustled from second and forced a fielding error on catcher Adam Zebrowski to cut Augusta’s (0-1) lead to 6-2.
The next inning, Guillermo Quintana got on the board with his first homer of the season, a shot over the home run porch in left field. Peña’s contributions went beyond just the walk-off heroics, he had an RBI single in the seventh to move the Fireflies a run closer as well.
Jack Aldrich (W, 1-0) offered 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to close out the game and earn his first win of the season. Noah Cameron and Patrick Halligan began the game with 7.2 innings of work, allowing six runs in the process.
Augusta had a pair of stand outs, starter Royber Salinas, who received the no-decision after allowing one earned run and fanning 11 hitters in 4.1 innings, and catcher Adam Zebrowski, who homered and had an RBI double in the first three innings.
The Fireflies continue their series with the Augusta GreenJackets at Segra Park tomorrow at 6:05 pm. RHP Luinder Avila (0-0, 0.00 ERA) gets the nod for the Fireflies and Augusta goes with RHP AJ Smith-Shawver (0-0, 0.00 ERA) You’ll want to stick around after the game for a dazzling post-game fireworks show. Tickets are available at FirefliesTickets.com.
About the Columbia Fireflies
The Columbia Fireflies are the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Winners of Ballpark Digest’s Best New Branding and Logo Award in 2016, the Fireflies play in the newly formed Class A East League and feature games against teams across the south including in-state rivals in Charleston and Myrtle Beach. The team partnered with the city of Columbia and Hughes Development to construct Segra Park, a multiuse outdoor sports and entertainment venue at the center of the BullStreet District. The Columbia Fireflies are owned by Hardball Capital, owners of the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the High-A Central League and the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Double-A South League. For more information, visit www.ColumbiaFireflies.com, or follow the Fireflies on Twitter (@ColaFireflies), Facebook (facebook.com/columbiafireflies) and all popular social media platforms.
About Segra Park
Segra Park, named the Ballpark Digest Ballpark of the Decade, the 2018 South Atlantic League’s Best Playing Surface, and the 2016 Ballpark Digest Ballpark of the Year, is a 365-day per year multi-use sports and entertainment venue located in the heart of downtown Columbia, South Carolina. Segra Park is the home ballpark for the Columbia Fireflies, the Low-A East League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Designed for baseball, concerts, football, soccer and a host of other activities, the venue seats approximately 9,000 for sporting events and up to 15,000 for major outdoor concerts. With 16 luxury suites and a 7,000 square-foot Club Level Lounge, Segra Park also hosts everything from business meetings to wedding receptions, and everything in between. For more information, visit www.segrapark.com.