The 1st-Half Northern Division Champion Hickory Crawdads and Lexington Legends split a doubleheader with the 'Dads claiming the nine-inning Game 1, 9-6, and the Legends taking the seven-inning Game 2, 4-2, before 2,882 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium on Friday evening.
Game 1 originally started on Thursday night, but was suspended last night in the bottom of the first until Friday afternoon due to inclement weather.
The Crawdads (70-51, 30-23) jumped in front with four runs in the bottom of the second against losing pitcher Murilo Gouvea (1-2). The Crawdads worked the bases loaded with only one out before Jonathan Roof doubled to left-center field to empty the bases for a 3-0 lead. Roof scored on Jake Skole's RBI single that gave Hickory a 4-0 lead.
After Christian Villanueva made it 5-0 with a solo home run in the third. Lexington finally got on the board in the top of the fourth. Mike Kvasnicka walked, and later scored on an RBI double by Telvin Nash. A walk put runners at first and second before Ben Orloff plated Nash with an RBI double of his own, cutting the Crawdads lead at 5-2.
The Legends (51-71, 16-36) picked up an unearned run in the top of the fifth, but Villanueva struck again in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Odubel Herrera and Tomas Telis reached on consecutive singles. Villanueva followed with his second home run of the game, and team-leading 16th of the season, a three-run shot over the left-field wall that gave Hickory a commanding 8-3 lead.
Lexington picked up another unearned run in the top of the sixth, but Hickory scored again in the bottom of the inning. Josh Richmond led off the inning with a solo shot of his own, putting Hickory back in front by five runs, 9-4.
The Legends plating a pair in the top of the ninth, but Matt Thompson, who picked up his first save, avoided any further trouble and closed things out for the Crawdads.
In game two, the Crawdads (70-52, 30-24) got on the board in the bottom of the second, when Josh Richmond belted a solo home run that gave the 'Dads an early 1-0 lead. Richmond has homered in three consecutive games.
But Lexington (52-71, 17-36) rallied with a pair of long-balls of its own in the top of the third. Delino Deshields, Jr. started the stanza with a solo shot, before Domingo Santana followed with a two-run homer later in the inning, leap-frogging Lexington into a 3-1 lead.
After the Legends added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a wild pitch by relief pitcher Francisco Mendoza, the Crawdads threatened in the bottom of the seventh. Jurickson Profar sparked the charge with a one-out walk against Jorge De Leon (14th save). Jonthan Roof advanced Profar to second with a single to right field, and Odubel Herrera brought him home with an RBI single to left that made it 4-2. After a ground out advanced the runners to second and third base, Clark Murphy walked to load the bases. But De Leon retired Kellin Deglan on a pop-up to end the game.
NOTES: The 'Dads take on the Legends at 7 p.m. on Saturday at L.P. Frans Stadium. It is Conrad Bobble Claw Giveaway, with the first 1,000 fans with a paid admission receiving a FREE Conrad Bobble Claw, courtesy of Galaxy, Ken's Dressings and Marinades and KICKS 103.3 FM. Saturday is also Fitness Night, so wear some fun fitness gear for a Half Off Ticket! Gates open at 6 p.m.