The Hickory Crawdads wrapped up their 4-game home stand and series against the Kannapolis Intimidators in dramatic fashion Sunday evening, as Nick Williams singled to the left field corner to plate
Nick Urbanus and give the 'Dads a 7-6, 10-inning walk off win at Crawdads Stadium.
The 'Dads entered the ninth inning trailing the Intimidators 6-5, before rallying to tie the game and send it to extra innings. Williams kick started that rally as well with an infield single before David Lyon walked and Ronald Guzman tied the game on a RBI base hit up the middle.
The Crawdads had a chance to win it in the ninth as the team loaded the bases with nobody out, but Kannapolis reliever Stew Brase rebounded to strikeout the next three batters and send the game to the 10th.
In the bottom of the 10th, Urbanus walked to lead off the frame followed by a walk to Luis Marte to put two on with nobody out. That brought in Williams, who drove a ball just past the diving glove of Intimidators left fielder Kale Kiser to give Hickory the 7-6 victory.
The walk off win was the 9th of the season for the Crawdads and the third of the year against the Intimidators. Prior to the extra inning heroics, the Crawdads trailed the Intimidators for much of the game. Kannapolis leadoff hitter Jacob May put his team ahead in the first with a solo home run to right to start the ballgame.
Kannapolis picked up another run in the top of the second before Hickory scored on an RBI double by Lyon in the bottom of the inning to make the score 2-1. The Intimidators lead swelled to 4-1 with two unearned runs on two hits and two Crawdads errors in the top of the fourth.
Hickory rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs on four hits to deadlock the score at 4-4. Urbanus started the inning with a single to center and came in one batter later on an RBI double from Marte. After a strikeout by Williams, Lyon plated Marte with a single up the middle before Guzman tied the game with an RBI double to right.
The score remained tied until the top of the seventh, when Kannapolis first baseman Keon Barnum crushed a 2-run homer to right to put the Intimidators back up 6-4. The homer was the third of the series for Barnum.
The 'Dads cut their deficit in the half in the bottom of the eighth, when pinch hitter Jordan Akins launched a solo blast into left-center field to make the score 6-5. That set the stage for the 'Dads rallies in the ninth and tenth.
Williams finished the game 3-6 with the game-winning RBI and two runs scored. Urbanus finished with one of his best nights at the plate going 2-3 with two walks and two runs scored, Lyon went 2-4 with a double and two RBI, Guzman ended up 2-4 with a double and two RBI and Marte finished 2-4 with a double, two RBI and a walk.
Hickory reliever Jose Leclerc (2-4) earned the win after pitching two scoreless innings over the ninth and tenth. Brase (2-1) was handed the loss after allowing the tying run in the ninth and the winning run in the 10th.
The win gives the Crawdads (11-6) the series victory over the Intimidators (7-11) three games to one. The 'Dads have a travel day Monday before starting a 7-game road trip with a four-game series against the Suns in Hagerstown. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
NOTES: The pinch hit homer by Jordan Akins tonight pushes the Crawdads season long ball total to 125. The single-season Crawdad record is 135 home runs while the SAL record stands at 173.....The Crawdads will now hit the road for a 9-day, 7-game road trip to Hagerstown and Lakewood. The 'Dads will return home for a week long home stand starting Wednesday, July 17th....Individual Tickets for all Crawdads home games are available right now at Hickorycrawdads.com or by calling (828) 322-3000! Group outings, corporate partnerships, Buffalo Wild Wings Claw Club memberships and Ticket Books are also available right now by calling the Front Office at (828) 322-3000.
Photo Courtesy: Nick Williams (left), Hickory Crawdads