The Hickory Crawdads combined a 10-hit night at the plate with stellar pitching out of the bullpen to come away with a 5-3 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds Saturday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The 'Dads have now won four of their last five games and improve their prefect record against the Shorebirds to 4-0 on the year. The win leaves Hickory (61-44 overall; 20-16, second half of the South Atlantic League season) just three games behind first-place Greensboro in the SAL's Northern Division. Augusta beat the Grasshoppers 8-7 Saturday night.
Four different Hickory hitters finished the night with multi-hit games , Michael De Leon and Evan Van Hoosier were both who 2-4 with a run-batted-in; Travis Demeritte was 2-4 with a double and two runs scored.
That provided enough offensive support for the Crawdads relief tandem of Anyelo Leclerc and Jose Valdespina, who combined to throw four shutout innings.
The 'Dads fell behind for the fifth consecutive game by came charging back to win the game. Saturday Delmarva (55-50; 17-19) took a 1-0, first-inning lead. The Shorebirds used two hits and two Hickory errors to score a run off of Crawdads starting pitcher Tyler Smith. The Shorebirds added two more runs in the top of the third for a 3-0 lead. Smith coughed up a two-out, two-run single to Connor Bierfeldt.
The 'Dads bats responded in the bottom of the third when they sent eight men to the plate to tie the game. They scored three runs on four hits with a walk. Demeritte and Janluis Castro kick started the inning with back-to-back doubles to plate the first run.
Castro eventually scored on a wild pitch that made it, 3-2. Nomar Mazara scored the tying run after drawing a two-out walk and scoring on consecutive singles from Jairo Beras and Deglan.
Smith settled into the game after his early troubles and finished the night with two scoreless innings in the fourth and the fifth. And the Crawdads responded by taking the lead in the sixth.
Hickory scored twice in the frame to take a 5-3 lead. Demeritte ignited the rally with a one-out single. He scored the eventual winning run on De Leon's RBI single; the Crawdads added an insurance run on Van Hoosier's RBI double.
That was more than enough cushion for Leclerc and Valdespina, who held the Shorebirds at bay over the final four innings. Leclerc (2-2) got the win with three scoreless. He gave up three hits, a walk, and he fanned two. Valdespina picked up his second save, thanks to a scoreless ninth inning.
The Crawdads take on the Shorebirds Sunday night at 5:00 p.m.
Crawdads @ Home: The Crawdads are at L.P. Frans Stadium for three more games on the home stand through Tuesday, July 29th! Don't miss out on some of the great upcoming promotions, including Christmas in July (7/27), Make-A-Difference Monday (7/28), and Social Media Night (7/29)! TICKETS
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
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!