Travis Demeritte came through in the clutch once again as his two-run double handed Hickory a 3-1, ten-inning win against Augusta Wednesday at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The win also leaves Hickory (74-54 overall; 33-26, second half of the South Atlantic League season), riding a four-game winning streak, five games behind first-place Hagerstown in the SAL's Northern Division, and just 4 1/2 games behind Greensboro in the wildcard race. Hagerstown defeated Greensboro 5-2 Wednesday night. The Suns travel to Hickory this weekend for a three-game series.
The tenth inning began with Crawdads center fielder Zach Cone getting hit by a pitch from GreenJackets All-Star reliever Jake Smith on the very first pitch of the inning. Following a sacrifice bunt by Kevin Torres, Jairo Beras drew a walk to put runners at first and second with one out for Demeritte. The 'Dads second baseman came through with a double down the left field line to plate both Cone and Beras to give Hickory its 3-1 lead.
The 'Dads led throughout most of the game thanks to an inside-the-park, solo home run by Evan Van Hoosier in the first that gave the Crawdads a 1-0 advantage. The unusual homer occurred when Augusta center fielder Randy Ortiz dove in an attempt to catch Van Hoosier's line drive, only to have the ball skip by him and Van Hoosier round the bases for his tenth home run of the year.
Hickory maintained its 1-0 lead until the seventh thanks to six shutout innings by Crawdads starter Frank Lopez. The GreenJackets (58-69; 24-35) finally scratched a run across against reliever Jose Monegro in the bottom of the seventh.
A leadoff walk to Ryan Tuntland, a sacrifice bunt from Gabriel Cornier, and a RBI single by Randy Ortiz tied up the game at 1-1.
The score remained deadlocked until Demeritte's timely hit in the tenth. Crawdads closer Jose Valdespina made it hold up with a scoreless tenth inning.
Demeritte was 1-4 with a double and two RBI; Van Hoosier finished 1-4 with his inside-the-park home run; Cone was the only Crawdad to have a multi-hit game, going 2-3. Hickory reliever Ryne Slack (8-2) earned the win with a perfect inning in the ninth; Valdespina recorded his second save in as many nights and his seventh of the year with a flawless tenth. Smith (3-5) took the loss for Augusta after allowing both runs in the tenth.
The Crawdads will go for the series sweep tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Boy Scout Night: Limited space is still available for the Crawdads LAST Boy Scout Night on Friday, August 22nd! Bring your Boy Scout troop out for a night of baseball followed by a post-game movie and camping under the stars on the field of L.P. Frans Stadium! For more information or to reserve your spot, email Crawdads Group Sales Associate Zach Miller, or call (828) 322-3000!
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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