A furious rally by the Hickory Crawdads came up short Monday night as the Kannapolis Intimidators prevailed 5-4 in ten innings at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. Trailing 4-3 in the top of the ninth, Ronald Guzman singled to start the inning. Travis Demeritte, who leads the South Atlantic League with 23 home runs, came on as a pinch
runner. Two batters later, Michael De Leon lined a two-out, run-scoring single to left field that scored Demeritte and tied the game, 4-4.
But Hickory's (65-48 overall; 24-20, second half of the SAL season) comeback was all for not as the Intimidators (53-58; 24-20) pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the tenth. Jacob Morris led things off with a base hit. Morris advanced to third two outs later, and he eventually scored the game-winning run when Hickory reliever Jose Valdespina's 1-2 pitch sailed high and careened off of catcher Kellin Delgans glove.
The loss leaves Hickory in a two-way tie with Kannapolis for third place in the SAL's Northern Division. Both teams trail first-place Greensboro by 3 1/2 games. The Grasshoppers moved into first place by taking a double-header from Delmarva Monday night; Hagerstown fell one-half game behind Greensboro following a 5-2 loss against West Virginia.
It was a disappointing loss for the Crawdads, who jumped out to a 2-0, first-inning lead. and a 2-0 lead. De Leon began the game with a single to center field before moving to second on an errant pickoff throw by Kannapolis starting pitcher Thad Lowry. Evan Van Hoosier scored De Leon with an RBI double inside the third base bag; Deglan followed one out later with a double to right field that plated Van Hoosier.
But the Intimidators responded with three runs on four hits off of Crawdads pitcher Frank Lopez to take a 3-2 advantage in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back doubles by Danny Hayes and Jacob Morris brought in the Kannapolis runs, with Hayes driving in one and Morris plating two.
The Intimidators added to their lead in the third, when Morris started the inning with another double before coming in one out later on a sacrifice fly by Carl Thomore to stretch the score to 4-2. The Crawdads narrowed the deficit to 4-3 in the sixth without the benefit of a base hit.
Deglan reached on a walk, Jairo Beras reached on an error and Guzman walked to load the bases. Deglan scored on a wild pitch from third.
Deglan was 2-4 Monday night with a double and an RBI; Van Hoosier went 2-5 with a double and an RBI. Luis Marte also picked up a double in the game, going 2-4 with his two-base hit and a stolen base.
Kannapolis closer Matt Abramson (3-6) earned the win after initially blowing the save, with one run allowed on three hits over two innings. Valdespina (2-2) took the loss for the Crawdads, allowing an unearned run on two hits with a strikeout over 1.2 innings.
The Crawdads have now dropped four in a row on this seven-game road trip. They play the Intimidators tonight at 7:05 p.m. Hickory and Kannapolis are 11-11 against each other this season.
Battle of the Bags: The Crawdads 3rd Annual Battle of the Bags cornhole tournament is scheduled for Thursday, August 14th! Make sure to sign up before hand for a $30 registration fee that includes a ticket to the 'Dads game vs. the Shorebirds and a FREE T-shirt! The winning team takes home $200! Don't miss out! MORE
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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