The Hickory Crawdads, 1st-Half Northern Division Champions, struck for seven unanswered runs to take the 7-5 comeback win against the West Virginia Power, before 2,552 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium on Friday night.
The Power (36-34, 1-1) got off to a jack-rabbit start, scoring five runs through the first three innings against Hickory starter Luke Jackson. West Virginia took the lead with a two-run single by Cole White in the first, before adding to its advantage with a three-run homer by designated hitter Rogelio Noris in the third, making it 5-0.
The Crawdads (41-29, 1-1) came racing back iwith four in the bottom of the fifth. Christian Villanueva and Andrew Clark sparked the rally with back-to-back singles before Josh Richmond plated Villanueva with an RBI single for the first Hickory run. Jake Skole walked to load the bases with still nobody out. Clark scored on Yefry Castillo's RBI grounder, and a two-run single by Jonathan Roof scored Richmond and Skole, bringing Hickory within a run at 5-4.
The 'Dads completed their comeback with three runs in the bottom of the seventh against losing pitcher Brooks Pounders (5-2). Skole got things started with a bunt single. With one out, Skole stole second base and an errant throw by catcher Elias Diaz sailed into center field sending Skole all the way to third. Roof walked, putting runners at first and third. A bad pick-off throw by Pounders to first, allowed Skole to score from third, tying the game. Roof went to second on the play. Jurickson Profar was hit by a pitch, and the 'Dads attempted a double steal and drawing another throwing error by Diaz. Roof scored all the way from second base on the play to put Hickory ahead, 6-5; Profar went to third, and he scored one out later on a run-scoring double by Tomas Telis off the right-center field wall that made it 7-5 lead.
Jimmy Reyes (2-0), who had a perfect eighth inning, got the win in relief; Ryan Rodebaugh closed things out for his 11th save.
NOTES: The Crawdads try for two in a row against West Virginia on Saturday at 7 p.m. Don't miss Sgt. Slaughter, who will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans at the game..... Also, there will be an exclusive meet-and-greet picnic that includes a Box Seat Ticket, dinner, two signed autographs and the chance to hang out with the man himself from 6 - 6:40 p.m.....Saturday is also Click It or Ticket Night, presented by the North Carolina Governors Highway Safety Program. The first 500 fans through the gates will get FREE Click It or Ticket Stress Balls! Gates open at 6 pm.