The Hickory Crawdads received a stellar performance from their starting battery Monday night, as starting pitcher Frank Lopez controlled things from the mound
and catcher Kellin Delgan paced the offense in the 'Dads 6-4 win over the Lexington Legends at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Lopez pounded the strike zone all night long, with the Venezuelan southpaw inducing three double plays and striking out three over six-shutout innings. Deglan helped to provide the offensive support for his pitcher, going 3-3 with a home run, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored.
The Crawdads offense scored early and often against Lexington pitchers Luis Rico and Andrew Edwards, with the 'Dads scoring one in the 1st, one in the 2nd, two in the 4th, and one run each in the 5th and 6th. The 12 total hits were the second highest total of the season for the Hickory offense, which is averaging more than six runs per game while winning their last three games.
The 'Dads first inning tally came courtesy of back-to-back hits to start the frame, as Travis Demeritte doubled inside the third base bag before Evan Van Hoosier singled to the same location to drive in Demeritte and make the score 1-0. The lead doubled to 2-0 the next inning when Deglan drove in Lewis Brinson with the first of his two doubles.
The Hickory lead doubled again in the 4th with Deglan once again coming through, this time in the form of a 2-run homer to right. The long ball was the third of the year for the Canadian, scoring Brinson and making the score 4-0.
The Crawdads scored their final two runs in the 5th and 6th, with Nick Vickerson and Ronald Guzman lining consecutive doubles for a run in the fifth before Deglan walked and scored on a Demeritte sacrifice fly in the sixth for a 6-0 Hickory advantage.
Lexington would finally get on the board against Crawdads reliever Kelvin Vasquez in the 7th, with the Legends picking up one run on a pair of hits to make the score 6-1. The Legends would make things interesting in the 9th as well, scoring three more runs to bring the score to 6-4 before Vasquez got Ramon Torres to fly out to end the game.
Lopez (1-1) earned the win for his standout performance on the mound, while Vasquez (1) earned the save for tossing the final three innings of the game while giving up four runs on five hits. Lexington starter Luis Rico (0-3) took the loss after giving up five runs on nine hits, one walk and two strikeouts during his 5 IP.
Eight of the nine Hickory starters picked up at least one hit in the win, with Brinson going 2-4 with a double and two runs scored to help Deglan lead the offense.
The Crawdads (9-8) have now won three-straight games to get back over .500, while the Legends (8-10) have dropped five of their last seven. The two teams will meet up again Tuesday night at 7:00 pm for game two of their 3-game series.
Photo Courtesy; Kellin Deglan, Hickory Crawdads