The woes continue for the Hickory Crawdads. They dropped a doubleheader Thursday night at L.P. Fran Stadium.
The Hagerstown Suns (25-7), who own the best record in the South Atlantic League, swept the Crawdads (14-18) by scores of 6-2 in the opener and 6-4 in the nightcap.
The Crawdads, were held to two runs on six hits by Hagerstown pitchers Jake Johansen and Robert Orlan in game one; the Suns won a back-and-forth affair thanks to an unearned run in the sixth that tied the game, and a three-run rally in the eighth to complete the sweep..
Capping off a disappointing night, Nomar Mazara of the Crawdads was tagged out at home trying to score on a wild pitch to end the game.
Johansen was dominant in game one. The Washington Nationals number eight prospect held Hickory hitless until the fifth inning. Johansen (3-1) got the win allowing an unearned run on three hits over 5.2 innings. Hickory starter David Ledbetter (1-3) absorbed the loss after giving up four runs on nine hits over 3.1 innings.
There were four total lead changes and three ties in game two before the Suns pulled it out in extra innings. With the 'Dads took their first lead of the game in the fourth, when Mazara lined an opposite field home run to left field for a 2-1 Hickory lead. The Suns responded with a home run of their own in the top of the fifth, thanks to John Wooten, who laced a solo shot to left field that tied the game at 2-2.
The Crawdads regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth to go up, 3-2. An RBI single by Evan Van Hoosier plated Eduard Pinto with the go-ahead run.
But the Suns scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out throwing error by Hickory first baseman Ronald Guzman to tie the game at 3-3, and forcing extra innings.
The Suns erupted for three runs on four hits against Hickory reliever Felix Carvallo n the top of the eighth to go ahead 6-3. Nick Vickerson of the Crawdads homered in the bottom of the eighth to make it, 6-4.
Mazara and Guzman both singled and eventually moved into scoring position with two outs. But Mazara was tagged out trying to score on a wild pitch to end the game.
Suns reliever Andrew Cooper (3-0) earned the win after allowing one run on three hits over the final three innings of the game. Carvallo (0-2) took the loss for the Crawdads.
Vickerson led the Hickory bats in the doubleheader loss, He was a combined 4-7 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Van Hoosier was 3-7 with an RBI over the two -game spread; Mazara went 3-4 with a home run in the nightcap after going 0-3 in game one.
The Crawdads have lost five in a row; the Suns have won five straight. The teams will play the final game of this four-game series Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
All-Star Tickets on Sale: Tickets to the 55th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Hickory on June 17th are on sale now! TICKETS
Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend: The Crawdads annual Breast Cancer Awareness weekend presented by Kicks 103.3 FM starts TOMORROW! Friday (5/9) will have "Paint the Park Pink", with fans able to get a $5 ticket by wearing pink to the game. Saturday (5/10) will see the first 1,000 fans with paid admittance take home a pink, replica Crawdads jersey courtesy of Pepsi. Sunday (5/11) will wrap up the festivities with a live, silent auction of the 'Dads game-worn, pink uniforms! TICKETS
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