The Hickory Crawdads got their seven-game road trip off to an impressive start Thursday night. The Crawdads pounded the Savannah Sand Gnats 10-1 at Historic Grayson Stadium.
Second baseman Travis Demeritte backboned the outburst going 3-5 with two home runs and five runs-batted-in. Demeritte leads the South Atlantic League with 23 home runs, four more than teammate Nomar Mazara, who sits in second place with 19. The win also leaves Hickory (65-44 overall; 24-16, second half of the South Atlantic League season) two games behind Hagerstown for first place in the SAL' Northern Division. The Suns defeated Charleston 1-0 Thursday night.
Hickory pitchers Tyler Smith (5-3) and Ryne Slack, who held the Sand Gnats to just one run on four hits with ten strikeouts. Smith went six innings and gave up an earned run on three hits with six strikeouts; Slack, who picked up his fifth save, gave up just one hits with four strikeouts.
Hickory didn't waste any time jumping on losing pitcher Logan Taylor (0-3) by scoring two runs in the first inning, and another run in the second for a 3-0 lead. Zach Cone and Jairo Beras plated Hickory's first two runs with an RBI double and an RBI single respectively; Demeritte went deep for the first time with a solo blast leading off the second inning.
Savannah (67-38; 23-16) got on the board in the bottom of the third, when Champ Stuart lined a RBI single off of Smith to cut the score to 3-1. But the 'Dads responded with a run in the top of the fifth.
Michael De Leon reached on a one out single to center field before Taylor walked the next three batters, including Kellin Deglan, who drove in a run to make it, 4-1. Taylor gave up four runs on five hits with three walks in six innings.
The Crawdads batted around in the eighth, scoring three runs on three hits for a 7-1 lead. The Sand Gnats didn't help themselves by committing three errors in the inning. Demeritte and De Leon each came through with RBI singles in the frame; Luis Marte brought in a run with an RBI groundout.
The 'Dads added to their lead with three more runs in the ninth. Demeritte had the big hit in the inning as he connected on a three-run blast to left field. The Crawdads and the Sand Gnats match up tonight at 7:05 p.m., for game two of their four game series.
Crawdads on the Road: The Crawdads remain on the road with three more contests in Savannah before heading to Kannapolis for a 3-game series. Make sure to keep up with the team on the road with the LIVE internet broadcast! LISTEN
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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