The Hickory Crawdads offense came back to life Saturday night against the Rome Braves in an 8-1 win at State Mutual Stadium.
The 'Dads pounded out 14 hits to back up a solid pitching performance from starter Cole Wiper and releiver Ryne Slack.
Hickory (56-37 overall; 15-9 second half of the South Atlantic League season) jumped out to an 5-0 lead thanks to a five-run second inning; leading 5-1, they scored three more times in the seventh to put the game away. Jairo Beras led the attack going 4-5 with a double and two runs scored. Janluis Castro finished 3-4 with a double and two runs scored.
That was more than enough support for the pitching combination of Wiper and Slack, as that tandem held the Braves to just one run on five hits.
Nomar Mazara got things started as he crushed a solo home run over the right-center field fence for his 13th home run of the year and a 1-0 Crawdads lead. Kellin Deglan and Beras both followed with singles before an errant pickoff throw by Rome pitcher Steve Janas allowed Deglan to score and Beras to go to third.
Ronald Guzman reached on a strikeout that resulted into a wild pitch. Beras scored from third on the play. Castro to put runners on second and third. Ryan Cordell drove in a run with a groundout out before Joe Jackson capped the rally with a RBI single to center field that gave Hickory a 5-0 lead.
The Braves (30-64; 6-18) scored their only run in the bottom of the second when Carlos Franco singled and eventually came home on a wild pitch by Wiper to make the score 5-1. Wiper stepped it up from there and held the Braves at bay over the next four innings before Slack took over in the seventh.
The Crawdads finished the scoring with another crooked number in the seventh. They scored three runs on three hits. Urbanus plated the first tally with a RBI single to center; Cordell drove in a run with a sacrifice fly; Michael De Leon picked up a RBI single.
Wiper (6-7) earned the win after holding the Braves to one run on four hits, despite four walks, and five strikeouts over six innings pitched. Slack picked up his third save of the season, thanks to three scoreless innings of work to close out the game.
The Crawdads go for the series win Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
Local Heroes Week: The Crawdads are celebrating area local heroes throughout their upcoming 3-game home stand July 15th - 17th. All employees of the Police Department, Fire Department, EMTs or DOCs can get FREE admission to any/all of the games by showing a valid work ID! PROMOTIONS
All-Star Jersey Auction: The Crawdads are auctioning off the authentic, game worn jerseys from this year's South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Hickory! Jerseys from both the Northern and Southern Division players and coaches are up for bid now on the 'Dads online auction page! AUCTION SITE
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