The Hickory Crawdads stretched their franchise-record winning streak to 12 games Wednesday night, as they knocked off Delmarva 5-3 at Arthur W. Purdue Stadium. The 'Dads completed the three-game sweep and now find themselves a season-high 11 games over .500.
Pitchers Tyler Smith, Anyelo Leclerc, and Josh McElwee led the way. Smith (3-1), who got the win, went five innings and gave up two earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts; Leclerc came on in the sixth and held the Shorebirds to one earned run on four hits with a strikeout; McElwee tossed a scoreless ninth for his third save.
The Crawdads took a 1-0 lead in the first when Michael De Leon doubled down the left field line with one out, and came around to score on an RBI single by Ryan Cordell. That lead lasted until the third, when Delmarva (35-31) center fielder Gregory Lorenzo lined his first home run of the season over the left field wall to tie the score at 1-1.
The 'Dads (38-27) regained the lead in the fourth. Cordell scored on a wild pitch before Travis Demeritte brought in Ronald Guzman with a RBI infield single to put Hickory back on top, 3-1. The Shorebirds turned to the long ball again in the bottom of the frame, when Chance Sisco connected on a solo blast to right field narrowing the gap, 3-2.
The Crawdads gave themselves some breathing room in the top of the eighth with a pair of runs. Joe Jackson extended his hitting streak to 15-straight games when he doubled home De Leon on a ball down the right-field line. Four batters later, Demeritte lined a ball off the infield umpire to plate Jackson and put the 'Dads up 5-2.
Demeritte led the Crawdads with a 2-4 game including two RBIs. De Leon finished 2-4 as well, scoring twice and walking once.
The Crawdads have now swept three consecutive series and are 24-8 since losing their last series in early May. The 'Dads will look to keep the streak going Thursday when they open up a four game set in Lakewood against the BlueClaws at 7:05 p.m.