The 1st-Half Northern Division Champion Hickory Crawdads edged the Lakewood BlueClaws, 2-1, before 8,101 fans at FirstEnergy Park on Friday night.
With the win, the 'Dads tie the Kannapolis Intimidators for 1st place in the Second Half Northern Division standings.
The 'Dads (75-53, 35-25) finally broke through with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Odubel Herrera doubled to start the inning and moved to third on a ground out. Christian Villanueva brought in Herrera with an RBI double to left field, lifting Hickory into the 1-0 lead.
Lakewood (66-62, 33-27) responded with an unearned run against winning pitcher Ben Henry (6-2) in the bottom of the fourth. Jim Murphy walked with one out and moved to second base on a single by Zach Collier. Anthony Hewitt followed and bounced a grounder to short that was bobbled by Jurickson Profar, enabling everyone to reach safely and loading the bases. Jeff Lanning then skied a sacrifice fly to right field, bringing home Murphy to tie the game, 1-1.
Hickory, however, moved right back in front in the top of the fifth against losing pitcher Ebelin Lugo (0-1). Josh Richmond led off with a double, and Clark Murphy walked putting runners at first and second with nobody out. Both runner advanced ninety feet on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Roof before Profar drove a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Richmond and giving the Crawdads the 2-1 lead.
Henry turned in his longest effort of the year by going seven-innings; Jorge Marban pitched two scoreless innings and picked up his third save of the year.
NOTES: Saturday and Sunday's games between the Crawdads and BlueClaws in Lakewood have been postponed due to Hurricane Irene. The teams will attempt to play doubleheaders on Monday and Tuesday, both starting at 5:05 p.m.....The 'Dads return to L.P. Frans Stadium for their final regular season home series from Thurs., Sept. 1 - Mon., Sept. 5, before the playoffs come to town! The series against Greenville gets going with Thirsty Thursday, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, on Thurs., Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. Enjoy $1 can beers and fountain Pepsis, as well as a post-game concert by Norva Jean Dreams!