The 1st-Half Northern Division Champion Hickory Crawdads fell in the regular season finale, 11-4, against the Greenville Drive, before 760 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium. The first pitch was delayed by 29 minutes due to inclement weather.
The Drive (78-62, 40-30) struck first by scoring twice against losing pitcher Nick Tepesch (7-5). Following back-to-back singles by Felix Sanchez and Matty Johnson to start the game, Sean Coyle drove in the game's first run with an RBI single; Drew Hedman skied a sacrifice fly to left field, driving in another run that gave Greenville an early 2-0 lead.
Greenville tacked on three more runs in the top of the third. With two on and one out, Coyle belted a three-run homer for a 5-0 lead. Hickory (79-58, 39-30) finally got on the board in the bottom of the third. Tomas Telis kept the inning alive with a double, and Christian Villanueva drove him in with an RBI single to make it 5-1.
But the Drive responded with five runs in the top of the fourth putting the contest out of reach. Felix Sanchez singled in a pair of runs to stretch the lead to 7-1. Coyle then belted his second home run of the game, another three-run shot, that gave the Drive a commanding 10-1 lead.
The Crawdads scored a run in the bottom of the fourth thanks to an RBI single by Jhonny Gomez, but a solo home run by David Renfroe in the top of the fifth made it 11-2.
An RBI double by Josh Richmond in the bottom of the fifth and another RBI single by Villanueva in the ninth closed out the scoring.
NOTES: The Crawdads will start the 2011 SAL Playoffs with the opening game of the Northern Division Championship Series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers on the road this Wednesday.....Hickory will host Game 2 of the NDCS at L.P. Frans Stadium this Friday night at 7 p.m.! Don't miss all the exciting action of playoff baseball, followed by a fantastic fireworks show, presented by Vesco, Pepsi, Galaxy Foods Centers, Hickory Orthopaedic Center, Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and JP Computer Consulting. Gates open on Friday at 6 p.m., seats are going fast!