The Hickory Crawdads scored two runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to take a 3-2 walk off win against the Augusta GreenJackets, before 1,551 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium on Wednesday night.
Hickory leads the entire South Atlantic League with 14 wins and is tied for 1st in the Northern Division with the Kannapolis Intimidators.
Augusta (6-14) got on the board first in the top of the third against RHP Matt Thompson and the Crawdads (14-6). With one on and no outs, 2B Carlos Willoughby bounced into a fielder's choice and took second base on a throwing error on the play. One out later, 3B Adam Duvall plated Willoughby from second with a two-out RBI single to left-center field, putting the GreenJackets ahead, 1-0.
Thompson settled in, retiring the next 11 batters he faced, seven on strikeouts, to keep it close on the scoreboard. The Crawdads squared the score with their first tally against RHP Set Rosin in the bottom of the fifth. 3B Christian Villanueva led off with a single and stole second before DH Jhonny Gomez joined him on the bases with a walk. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt, and Villanueva charged in the final ninety feet on a Rosin wild pitch, tying it at 1-1.
RHP Ryan Rodebaugh took over for the 'Dads to register the final out in the seventh, and ended up logging 3.1 scoreless relief innings, striking out five and allowing just one hit to keep the tie intact.
Against RHP Joe Van Meter (W, 2-0) in the top of the 11th, Augusta finally plated the go-ahead run. Willoughby led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out RBI single by RF Ryan Scoma.
The Crawdads, though, came back with the two-run charge in the bottom of the 11th for the walk off win. SS Jurickson Profar started the frame by reaching on a fielding error committed by 1B Sundrendy Windster. 2B Odubel Herrera then belted a double to the right field wall, putting runners at second and third with no one out. Augusta RHP Stephen Harrold (L, 1-1) intentionally walked 1B Andrew Clark to load the bases, before RF Josh Richmond placed an RBI single through the left side of the infield to plate Profar and tie it 2-2. With the bases still loaded and the Augusta infield drawn in, Villanueva bounced an RBI single over the leaping SS Ydwin Villegas to bring Herrera in for the 3-2 win.
NOTES: The Crawdads go for their third straight win against Augusta on Thursday for Thirsty Thursday. Don't miss $1 can beers and Pepsis, as well as a post-game concert by XerockX! Thursday will also feature an NFL Draft Party! Wear any type of NFL gear and get a buy one, get one free ticket to the game! First Pitch is 7 p.m., gates open at 6 p.m.