COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Fireflies couldn’t deal a knockout blow early in Tuesday’s game at Segra Park, and allowed the Down East Wood Ducks to score five unanswered runs on the way to a 6-4 loss in the series opener.

Ben Hernandez started the game strong, allowing a single run through the first three frames. Then he allowed three straight to reach in the third and was lifted, ceding three runs in 3.2 innings of work. Heribert Garcia (L, 1-1) came in to stop the scoring in the fourth and offered 3.1 innings of relief while only allowing a pair of hits. One of those hits happened to be a solo homer from Marcus Smith that made it a 5-4 ballgame in the top of the seventh.

Abimelec Ortiz reached on a fielding error from Edgar Martinez in the eighth to score Alejandro Osuna for Down East and draw the visiting team’s lead to 6-4.

Down East gifted the Fireflies their first two runs of the game. The starter, Gavin Collyer, only recorded a pair of outs before leaving the game. He walked four batters and allowed Yaswel De Los Santos and Edgar Martinez to score and give the Fireflies a 2-0 lead without recording a hit.

Columbia added to their run total in the second when Carter Jensen hit a base knock to right-center to bring home De Los Santos again and increase the home lead to 3-1. Columbia’s final run came off Guillermo Quintana’s second homer of the season, a solo blast to left in the third.

Columbia continues its series with Down East Wednesday at Segra Park at 7:05 pm. Southpaw Noah Cameron (0-0, 5.14 ERA) gets the nod for Columbia and Down East counters with righty Brandon Webb (2-0, 2.19 ERA)