Joe Jackson has been on fire of late. Coming into Thursday night's game with the West Virginia Power, Jackson was hitting .500 with five RBI in his last two games. And Jackson continued his hot pace as he singled home the game-winning run leading the Hickory Crawdads to a 7-6, 12-inning victory against the Power.
Thursday's win also tied a team record for the longest game of the season. The 'Dads went 12 innings against Kannapolis on April 16. And the 'Dads (32-27) have won a season-high six in a row, and they're a season-high five games over .500
Jackson, who has a ten-game hitting streak (tying a team-high), saved the day after the Crawdads blew a 6-2 lead. Rehabbing reliever Daniel Bard made his debut with the 'Dads in the eighth inning of last night's game, but struggled in his first outing since off-season shoulder surgery.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel and Boston Red Sox reliever failed to retire a batter while hitting three men, walking one, and ultimately allowing three runs to cut the score to 6-5. The Power (20-39), which has lost five in a row, eventually tied the game with a bloop single against all-star reliever Cody Kendall in the top of the ninth.
Evan Van Hoosier ignited Hickory's 12th-inning rally with a lead-off walk (his fourth walk of the game). He moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Michael De Leon, Van Hoosier came around to score on Jackson's RBI single that just eluded the glove of West Virginia first baseman Edwin Espinal.
Prior to the late drama, the Crawdads built a sizable advantage, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Jackson and throwing error by Power All-Star catcher Reese McGuire that allowed De Leon to score for a 2-0 lead. Following a pair of runs by West Virginia in the top of the second that tied the score, the 'Dads answered in the bottom of the frame with a solo home run by Kellin Deglan for a 3-2 advantage. The lead grew to its largest point in the third, when Nomar Mazara lofted a 3-run blast to right for a 6-2 lead.
Mazara was 2-5 with his eight home run of the year, three RBI, and a double. Jackson was 1-5 with two RBI, Van Hooiser went 0-2 with four walks and three runs scored, Deglan was 1-4. Left-hander Ryne Slack (5-1) who tossed two scoreless innings with three strikeouts, got the win.
The teams meet up again Friday night at 7:00 p.m., in game two of their four game series.
'Dads at Home: The Crawdads are home for three more games on the home stand, with some great promotions scheduled for the weekend! The home stand includes The Cruise-in-Car Show presented by Farris Insurance on Friday (6/6), Saved by the Bell night with Dustin "Screech" Diamond on Saturday (6/7) and Craw"DADS" Day on Sunday (6/8)! PROMOTIONS
All-Inclusive All-Star Package: Don't miss a single event surrounding the 55th annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Hickory by purchasing the All-Inclusive Ticket Deal for only $95, a $25 savings! INFO
Screech Meet-N-Greet: Tickets are still available for the "Saved by the Bell" Meet-N-Greet with Dustin "Screech" Diamond on June 7th! For only $22, fans can meet, chat with, and get an autograph from the TV star while also enjoying a pre-game meal! SCHEDULE
Stay Connected: Make sure to stay connected with the Crawdads by visiting the 'Dads website at www.hickorycrawdads.com, or by following us on Facebook and Twitter!
Photo Courtesy: Joe Jackson, Hickory Crawdads