The Hickory Crawdads' slim playoff hopes officially ended Thursday night. The Crawdads () were eliminated from the SAL's Northern Division race with a 3-0 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park.
Losing pitcher Tyler Smith (7-6) deserved a better fate. The right hander went six innings giving up a run, earned, on seven hits wth seven strikeouts. In turn, the Crawdads suffered their eighth shutout loss of the season.
Lakewood snapped a scoreless tie with a run in the sixth. A lead-off walk to Andrew Knapp fueled the rally. Dylan Cozens doubled, and Knapp scored on Willians Astudillo's ground-ball out, giving the BlueClaws a 1-0 lead.
The BlueClaws () added some insurance with two runs in the seventh. A two-out walk to Malquin Canelo, a run-scoring triple by Andrew Pullin, and a wild pitch by Hickory reliever Scott Williams handed Lakewood a 3-0 lead. The Crawdads got their leadoff man aboard in both the seventh and ninth innings, but Lakewood relievers Delvi Francisco and Joe DeNato worked out of both innings to finish things off.
Yoel Mecias (3-3) after he tossed six shutout innings. He scattered four hits and stuck out seven. Ronald Guzman led the Hickory offense going 3-4 with a double; Joe Jackson finished the game 2-4 with a double. The Crawdads wrap up the regular season with a four game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds, beginning tonight at 7:05 p.m.
Crawdads Conclude Season: The Crawdads are wrapping up their 2014 season with four more games in Delmarva! Make sure to listen in as the 'Dads battle the Shorebirds in their final contests of the year!
All-Star Jersey Auction: The final batch of South Atlantic League All-Star Game jerseys are up for auction now! Don't miss out on your LAST chance to own a piece of Hickory history with an authentic, game-worn All-Star jersey from this year's SAL All-Star game at L.P. Frans Stadium!
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!