The Hickory Crawdads, 1st-Half Northern Division Champions, cruised by the West Virginia Power, 7-2, before 1,325 fans at Appalachian Power Park on Wednesday night.
Like they did Tuesday night, the Crawdads (53-35, 13-7) jumped out to an early lead against West Virginia. They scored a pair of runs in the first inning against losing pitcher Zac Fuesser (2-3).
Jurickson Profar belted the first pitch of the game off the right field wall for a double. He moved to third on a fly out and he scored on an RBI double Andrew Clark. Josh Richmond moved Clark to third with a base hit, and Odubel Herrera brought him in with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
The 'Dads built on their lead in the top of the third. Profar was hit by a pitch and Teodoro Martinez reached on a bunt single, putting runners on at first and second with nobody out. Clark then hammered his third home run in the series that gave the Crawdads a 5-0 lead.
After Roman Mendez (W, 7-1) dealt two scoreless innings to start his evening, the Power (41-47, 6-14) got on the board against him in the bottom of the third. With two on and two out, Mel Rojas, Jr. lined an RBI single to right field, scoring Rogelio Noris from third base to cut the 'Dads lead to 5-1.
West Virginia scored again in the sixth. Kevin Mort started the inning with a walk and darted to second base on a missed-catch error committed by Jhonny Gomez on a pick-off throw. Mort advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt before he scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Cole White.
Leading 5-2, Joe Van Meter came on and picked up his fifth save of the year. He dealt three scoreless innings to close out the game; the Crawdads plated a pair of unearned runs in the eighth to put the contest out of reach.
NOTES: The Crawdads continue their road trip on Thursday vs. the Power at 7:05 p.m. 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.