A four-run 6th inning was all the offense the Hickory Crawdads needed Thursday night, as the 'Dads rode
the breakout frame to a 4-1 win over the Asheville Tourists in front of 2,622 fans at Crawdads Stadium.
The Crawdads entered the decisive inning trailing the Tourists 1-0 and with only two hits against Asheville starter Matt Carasiti. That all changed with one out in the frame when Nick Williams lined a solo home run to right to tie the game at 1-1.
Taking advantage of the suddenly vulnerable Carasiti, the 'Dads quickly took the lead when Jorge Alfaro reached on an error and came in one batter later on an RBI triple by Joey Gallo. Gallo would later score on a groundout from Kevin Torres before Luis Marte drove in Nomar Mazra with an RBI single to right to give the 'Dads the 4-1 lead they would go on to win by.
The three-run advantage held up due to the solid pitching by Connor Sadzeck, Joe Burns and Sam Wolff. Sadzeck started the game and went the first five innings, allowing only a 5th inning run run while giving up five hits, one walk and striking out four to earn a no-decision.
Burns (3-3) followed and earned the win with three perfect innings of relief out of the pen. Wolff (3) closed the door in the 9th, working around a one-out single to pick up the save. Carasiti (2-8) took the loss, with the right-hander ending the night with four runs allowed, one earned, on five hits over 5.2 IP.
Williams finished the game 2-2 with a home run, two walks, an RBI and a stolen base. Gallo ended the night 1-4 with an RBI triple, Torres went 2-4 and Marte finished 1-3 with an RBI, a walk and a stolen base.
The victory gives the Crawdads (30-23) the series win over the Tourists (20-32) two games to one. The 'Dads will now hit the road for a pivotal 4-game series against the first place West Virginia Power. Game one is scheduled for 7:05 on Friday night.
NOTES: The 2013 Crawdads Jersey Auction is up and running! Bid on the actual game worn road uniforms of your favorite players from the last 3 years, including Joey Gallo, Jurickson Profar, Ryan Rua, Nick Tepesch, Lewis Brinson, Justin Grimm and Jorge Alfaro! Check out the auction page here,,,,.Nick Williams' game-tying solo blast raised the Crawdads season home run total to 152, just 21 away from the South Atlantic League record of 173 home runs in a season.....The Crawdads hit the road for a 7-game trip, including four games in West Virginia and three in Asheville. The 'Dads will return home on Friday, August 23 for a 3-game home stand against Augusta.....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: Joey Gallo, Hickory Crawdads