Professional Baseball

Tebow Homers, Fireflies Cruise in Season Opener


COLUMBIA, SC – Outfielder Tim Tebow homered in his first at-bat as a Firefly and Columbia whizzed past the Augusta GreenJackets on Thursday, opening the 2017 season with a resounding 14-7 win. Michael Paez and Dash Winningham rounded out the trio of Fireflies to go yard on opening night.

Tebow’s opposite-field home run came in the second inning (after Blake Tiberi had led off the frame with a single). The lefty connected on a Domenic Mazza (L, 0-1) offering and drilled it just above the left-field fence. The former Heisman Trophy winner finished 1-for-5 at the plate.              

Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of Tom Priddy and the Columbia Fireflies.

In the following frame, Columbia added five more runs. Luis Carpio and Tiberi both turned heads with a pair of run-scoring doubles. Later on it was Paez who muscled a fastball over the left-field wall. The three-run homer upped the Fireflies’ lead to 7-0.

There wasn’t much fear visible from Columbia’s dugout after Augusta (0-1) plated five straight runs in the fourth. Carpio drove in Ali Sanchez (on base 4 times, three singles) in the following frame.

In addition to his three-run home run in the eighth, Winningham also knocked in a base runner in the sixth. The Ocala, Florida, native finished 3-for-5 at the dish with four RBIs.

Matt Blackham (W, 1-0) picks up his first victory of the season after relieving starter Harol Gonzalez in the fourth.

The Fireflies continue their opening week homestand with the GreenJackets on Friday at 7:05 p.m. The expected starters are right-hander Jordan Humphreys for Columbia and righty D.J. Myers for Augusta.

You can listen to the action on ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM, and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 6:45 p.m.

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