The Hickory Crawdads, 1st-Half Northern Division Champions, threatened to comeback with a run and a bases-loaded rally in the bottom of the ninth, but the Lexington Legends escaped with the 8-7 win on Sunday, before 1,551 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.
With Lexington built a 5-0 lead by the top of the fourth, but the Crawdads (51-35, 11-7) got finally got their bats going bottom of the fourth. With Andrew Clark at first and two down, Jake Skole belted a two-run homer that got the 'Dads on the board. Alejandro Selen followed suit with a solo home run of his own that made it 5-3.
The Legends (41-47, 6-12) responded with a long-ball of their own in the top of the fifth; Tyler Burnett banged a solo shot stretching the lead at 6-3.
Hickory came charging back with a two runs in the bottom of the sixth that made it 6-5. Clark and Christian Villanueva had consecutive singles to spark the rally. Both runners scored when Skole lined a single to center field that Jay Austin misplayed, allowing Clark and Villanueva to score.
Teodoro Martinez tied things up with a lead-off home run in the seventh. It was Hickory's third home run. The Crawdads then loaded the bases nobody out, but David Martinez (4-3), who got the win in relief, escaped further damage by enducing a double play ball and a fly out to end the inning.
Lexington recaptured the lead with two runs in the top of the ninth against losing pitcher Colby Killian (6-3). With one out, Telvin Nash walked before being pulled for pinch runner Jhonny Medrano. Medrano scored all the way from first base on an RBI double by Ben Heath putting Lexington back in front,7-6. The Legends added an insurance run in as Heath moved to third on a groundout and then scored on an RBI single by Burnett.
Three straight singles by Odubel Herrera, Tomas Telis and Clark loaded the bases with nobody out to start the bottom of the ninth. After Jorge DeLeon induced a foul ball out, Skole forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk, bringing the 'Dads within one, 8-7. However Martinez responded by striking out the next two batters, nailing down the victory.
NOTES: The Crawdads kick off a road trip with a four-game series in West Virginia, starting Tuesday evening at 7 pM....The Crawdads will return home on Wed., July 20 to kick off a seven-game homestand with Redneck Night against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. First Pitch is at 7 p.m., gates open at 6 p.m......It will also be Guaranteed WINsday, with all fans in attendance receiving a FREE ticket to a future game this season if the 'Dads don't win. Also, July 20 will be another Conrad's Self-Esteem Wednesday. Say the words "Conrad's Self-Esteem" at the Ticket Office and get a Half Off Ticket to the game, with $2 going to Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare. Also, Wednesday is Unemployment Night - show your NCESC-issued debit card or online statement for four free tickets to the game.