The Hickory Crawdads brought their big sticks to the yard Tuesday night in
Asheville, as the 'Dads scored a season-high nine runs in a single inning en route to an 11-1 win over the Tourists at McCormick Field.
Inconsistent for much of the last month, the Hickory hitters found refuge in the hitter friendly environment of McCormick Field. The 11-run outburst was the most runs scored in a game by the Crawdads since their 11-7 win in Hagerstown on July 10, and also marked the second time this season the 'Dads scored 11 in Asheville.
The majority of the tallies came in the 9-run 4th inning, marking the most runs scored in a single frame by the 'Dads this year. The Crawdads sent 14 men to the plate and collected 8 hits in the monster inning, led by Lewis Brinson who came through with a 2-RBI double and an RBI single in his two trips to the plate.
Jorge Alfaro also reached twice in the inning with a walk and an infield hit, while Nomar Mazara had a 2-RBI double and reached later on an error. Also contributing to the big inning was Alejandro Selen, who launched a 3-run homer to left, and Joey Gallo who doubled inside the first base bag and came around to score.
Prior to the breakout 4th, the Crawdads jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to a 2-run, opposite filed homer by Gallo to left-center field. The homer was Gallo's 30th of the season with the 'Dads, placing him alone atop the South Atlantic League leaderboard.
All the offensive support made a winner out of Hickory starting pitcher Connor Sadzeck (12-4), who allowed only one run on four hits, two walks and three strikeouts over six innings pitched. The solid performance also lowered Sadzeck's league-leading ERA to 2.25 for the season. Reliever Jose Valdespina (2) earned the save with three shutout innings out of the bullpen, while Asheville starter Matt Carasiti (2-9) took the loss after giving up 10 runs on seven hits over 3.1 IP.
Eight of the nine Crawdads batters reached base at least once and scored at least one run in the blowout victory. Gallo finished the game 3-5 with a homer, a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Brinson's night ended with him also going 3-5 with a double and three RBI, while Selen went 1-4 with a 3-run homer and a walk.
The win is the 11th in 14 games for the Crawdads (33-25) against the Tourists (21-36), including a perfect 4-0 record in Asheville. The win also had major playoff implications, with the 'Dads moving to within a half game of the wild card in the Northern Division while the Tourists were officially eliminated in the Southern Division. The two teams will face off again Wednesday night at 7:05 for game two of their 3-game series.
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....Gallo's 30th homer of the year and Selen's 1st raised the Crawdads season home run total to 160, just 13 away from the South Atlantic League record of 173 home runs in a season....The Crawdads stay on the road for two more games in Asheville before returning home on Friday, August 23 for a 3-game home stand against Augusta. Friday night is Duck Dynasty Night at Crawdads Stadium, with $25 "Meet and Greet" tickets still available with Mountain Man of Duck Dynasty! Friday is also another Fireworks Friday at the ballpark! Saturday features the return of the Zopperstars! while Sunday wraps up the home stand with Where's Waldo Night, the Cutest Craw"Dog" competition and Splash Day! Check out the entire Crawdads promotional schedule here....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