Written by Staff Reports
Sunday, 28 July 2013 08:02
The Hickory Crawdads received some much needed power from an unlikely source Saturday night, as utility man Hirotoshi Onaka lined a 3-run homer in the second to power the 'Dads to a 4-3 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators at CMC-Northeast Stadium. Onaka's blast was also the 136th of the year for the Crawdads, breaking their
single-season home run record.
Onaka entered the game batting .130 (3-23) on the season for Hickory and with only one career long ball in 292 at-bats. None of that mattered in the second inning however, as the switch hitting Japanese native turned on a pitch from Kannapolis starter Kyle Hansen and sent it soaring over the right field wall for a 3-run blast.
The long ball gave the 'Dads a 3-0 lead and also broke the 9-year-old single season home run record for the Crawdads, which the club had tied on July 22nd.
The score would remain the same until the 'Dads picked up an insurance run in the sixth when Jordan Akins drove in David Lyon with an RBI groundout to put the team up 4-0.
The Intimidators would rally with three runs in the seventh to tighten to score to 4-3, but relievers Sam Wolff and Joe Burns were able to right the ship and hold on over the final two frames for the Crawdads 4-3 win.
Hickory starting pitcher Andrew Faulkner (4-3) came away with the win. The southpaw started the night with six shutout innings before ending his game with three runs allowed on five hits, four walks and four strikeouts over 6.1 IP. Hansen (3-6) was handed the loss with three runs allowed on four hits, three walks and 6 Ks over his five innings pitched. Burns (2) earned the save for the 'Dads with his scoreless 9th.
Onaka finished the game 2-5 with his record-breaking homer, three RBI and a double. Lyon went 2-4 with a double and two runs scored while Nick Urbanus finished 1-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.
With the win the Crawdads improve to 18-16 while the Intimidators fall to 13-22. The 'Dads will go for the series win against their in-state rivals on Sunday at 5:05 pm.
NOTES: Hickory Homer Countdown: Onaka's 3-run homer was the 136th of the year for the 'Dads, moving them 37 away from the South Atlantic League record of 173....The Crawdads remain on the road for five more games over the next four days against Kannapolis and Charleston. The 'Dads will return home on Thursday, August 1st to begin a week-long home stand at Crawdads Stadium....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: David Lyon, Hickory Crawdads