The 1st-Half Division Champion Hickory Crawdads were topped by the Charleston RiverDogs, 7-4, before 1,331 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium on Sunday evening. With the 1st-Half title, the Crawdads also ensure a 2011 Playoff berth - playoff tickets will go on sale this Thursday on Hickorycrawdads.com and at (828) 322-3000.
The RiverDogs (26-44) took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With two on and one out, starting pitcher Nick McBride made a bad pick-off throw that sailed to center field, advancing the runners to second and third. J.R. Murphy jumped on that opportunity by knocking in a run with an RBI single; a grounder to third by Rob Segedin allowed the second run to score.
Hickory tied it up in the bottom of the second inning. Alejandro Selen sparked the comeback with a one-out single. One out later, Jhonny Gomez singled and Jonathan Roof walked to load the bases. Teodoro Martinez tied up the game with a two-run single to left field.
Charleston regained the lead in the top of the third. Anderson Feliz led off with a walk and Murphy followed with a single that put runners at first and third. Segedin came through with an RBI sacrifice fly to center, plating Feliz and putting the RiverDogs back in front, 3-2.
Ben Henry came on in relief of McBride with two out in the third and got out of the inning with no further damage being done. Henry then followed with a scoreless fourth, before Charleston stretched its lead in the fifth.
Ramon Flores reached on a one-out double and scored an RBI double by Murphy. Charleston proceeded to load the bases, but Henry battled out of the inning with only the one run scoring, but with the Crawdads trailing 4-2.
The Crawdads tied things up in the bottom of the sixth against winning pitcher Danny Burawa (3-2). Selen and Kellin Deglan hit back-to-back solo home runs, evening the score at 4-4.
The RiverDogs regained the lead for good with three runs against losing pitcher Jorge Marban (1-1) in the top of the eighth. With one away, Jose Toussen reached on a two-base throwing error. After Feliz walked, Flores drove in Toussen with an RBI single; Feliz to third on the play. One out later, Segedin brought both runners home with a two-run double, giving the RiverDogs the 7-4 lead.
Nathan Forer, who picked up his third save, tossed two scoreless innings to close out the win.
NOTES: The 1st-Half Division Champion Crawdads start the second half of the season this Thursday at L.P. Frans Stadium, when they host the West Virginia Power for Thirsty Thursday at 7 p.m., presented by Buffalo Wild Wings. Don't miss $1 can beers and Pepsis, as well as a post-game concert by Soul Watt. It will also be U.S. Air Force Night! Gates open at 6 p.m.