ROME-Nomar Mazara was on fire Friday night as the Hickory Crawdads defeated the Rome Braves 4-2 at State Mutual Stadium. Mazara belted his tenth home run of the year and drove in three runs as the Crawdads (43-28 overall; 2-0 in the second half of the South Atlantic League season), riding a five-game winning streak, have
won 17 of their last 18 games.
Mazara, who was 3-5, has ten home runs and 48 RBIs on the season, ranking him in the top five of the South Atlantic League in both categories. The offensive support was enough for the pitching trio of winning pitcher Angelo Leclerc (1-0), Ryne Slack, and Cody Kendall, who picked up his fifth save of the season with a ninth inning, held the Braves to a pair of runs with a combined ten strikeouts.
Mazara had an RBI single in the first inning that gave Hickory a 1-0 lead; Rome (24-48; 0-2) responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning. Shortstop Johan Camargo doubled and scored on an error to tie the score at 1-1. But Mazara broke the tie with a two-run homer in the fifth for a 3-1 lead. The advantage grew to 4-1 the sixth as Luis Marte singled home Travis Demeritte.
The Braves picked up their final run in the bottom of the sixth, when Carlos Franco drove in Ross Wilson with an RBI single to right field. The Hickory bullpen took over from there. Slack held Rome scoreless over the next two innings before Kendall struck out the side in the ninth.
Leclerc allowed just one run on three hits, with two walks, and four strikeouts over five innings pitched. Joe Jackson joined Mazara with a multi-hit night, going 2-5; Marte ended the game 1-3 with a RBI, a walk and a stolen base. The 'Dads and the Braves will play each other again on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in game three of their four game series.
Crawdads on the Road: The Hickory Crawdads begin the 2nd half of the SAL season with two more road games against the Rome Braves. The 'Dads will return home on Monday, June 23rd for an 8-game home stand! TICKETS
Matt Hardy Appearance: Meet-N-Greet tickets are still available for former WWE Superstar Matt Hardy's appearance on L.P. Frans Stadium on Saturday, June 28th! Tickets are only $22, and include a pre-game meal! Don't miss out! PROMOTIONS
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!
Crawdads to Host "Unsuccessful" Night: The Hickory Crawdads are responding to the recent negative remarks towards minor league sports by NCAA President Mark Emmert by hosting an "Unsuccessful" night on Monday, June 23rd. All fans wearing NCAA apparel to the 'Dads game against the Kannapolis Intimidators will receive free admission and will be allowed to help run the game's promotions.
As part of his testimony in the O'Bannon v. NCAA trial, Mr. Emmert made his feelings towards minor league sports clear.
"To convert college sports into professional sports would be tantamount to converting it into minor league sports. And we know that in the U.S. minor league sports aren't very successful either for fan support or for the fan experience."
In light of this recent quote that the NCAA amateur business model is superior to that of the minor leagues, the Crawdads will ask for the help of NCAA fans to help improve their performance during Monday's game. In addition to gaining free admission to the contest, any fan wearing NCAA apparel will have the opportunity to help in the 'Dads promotions for the night, hopefully enlightening the Hickory staff on the superior practices of collegiate sports.
The Crawdads players will also be given the opportunity to play the game for free, since the NCAA's amateur model produces such obviously better results.
"We are always looking for ways to improve on the inferior product that we offer," said Crawdads GM Mark Seaman. "We apologize to fans that we are so poorly run, but hopefully with the help of some NCAA fans, which have obviously been exposed to a superior product, we can at least make the product bearable for fans to watch."
For more information regarding the Crawdads "Unsuccessful" Night, contact the 'Dads front office at (828) 322-3000.
Photo Courtesy: Nomar Mazara, Hickory Crawdads