Kellin Deglan saved the day Friday night with a two-run homer in the tenth as the Hickory Crawdads (39-28) defeated the Lakewood BlueClaws 8-6 in ten innings at FirstEnergy Park.
The 'Dads have now won 13 of their last 14 games going into the All-Star break. Friday night's game had a little bit of everything. A one hour, 32-minute rain delay and a marathon game that took more than three hours to play. But the Crawdads, like they've done in recent weeks, found a way to win (the 'Dads are 25-9 in their last 34 games).
After falling behind 6-5, Crawdads shortstop Michael De Leon responded with a triple off of losing pitcher Cody Forsythe (3-2) to start the ninth inning. Nomar Mazara brought him in on a run-scoring ground-ball out to tie the game at 6-6.
Deglan settled the issue with his two-run homer in the tenth. Travis Demeritte got things going with a lead-off single in the inning.
Prior to the late heroics, Hickory built a 5-4 advantage with two runs in the first and three more in the fifth. Ryan Cordell had a two-out, two-run double in the first that gave the Crawdads a 2-0 lead. The advantage held until the third when rehabbing Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Cody Asche roped a two-run homer to right to tie the score at 2-2.
The 'Dads retook the lead on Mazara's towering three-run homer in the fifth.
But the BlueClaws (27-40) responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning on Asche's second two-run homer of the night to cut the score to 5-4.
The 5-4 score stayed the same until the eighth, when Lakewood rallied for their two runs to start the late-inning drama.
Deglan finished the game 2-4 with a homer, two RBI and a walk, Mazara went 1-3 with a home run, 4 RBI, two walks and two runs scored.
Hickory reliever Jose Valdespina (1-0) earned the win with one unearned run allowed over two innings pitched. Crawdads all-star closer Cody Kendall picked up his third save of the year with a perfect tenth inning, which included two strikeouts.
The Crawdads and the BlueClaws match up again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. for game three of their four-game series to end the first half of the season.
SAL All-Star Game: The Crawdads will finish up the first half of the season with two more games in Lakewood before coming home for the SAL All-Star Game in Hickory on Tuesday June 17th! TICKETS
Fan vs. All-Star Cornhole Tournament: Tickets for the Crawdads Fan vs. All-Star Cornhole Tournament are on sale now for only $5 per person! Come test your skills "Under the Sails" on Monday, June 16th and face off against the SAL All-Stars themselves! The winning team also takes home $200! Don't miss out! ALL-STAR INFO
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 $60, a $25 savings! INFO
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: Kellin Deglan, Hickory Crawdads