The 1st-Half Northern Division Champion Hickory Crawdads shut out the Augusta GreenJackets, 7-0, before 1,001 fans at Lake Olmstead Stadium on Sunday evening.
The Crawdads (62-42, 22-14) scored in the top of the first inning against losing pitcher Mike Kickham (2-7). With two outs and the bases empty, Christian Villanueva got things going with a single. He then took second on a passed ball and then stole third. After Andrew Clark walked, Josh Richmond smacked an RBI double to left-center field, scoring Villanueva for the 1-0 lead.
Hickory tripled the lead with two more runs in the top of the third. With one out, Villanueva picked up his second hit of the game with a single and took promptly second base on a wild pitch. Clark brought in Villanueva with an RBI double before moving to third on a base hit by Odubel Herrera one out later. Alejandro Selen followed with an RBI double of his own, making it 3-0.
The 'Dads rounded out the attack with four tallies in the fifth. Richmond sparked the inning with a double, and was joined on base by Herrera, who walked. Selen drove both runners in with a two-run double, stretching the lead to 5-0 and chasing Kickham from the mound. Edward Concepcion took over in relief for Augusta and retired the first batter he faced before Braxton Lane singled home Selen. After consecutive walks to Jurickson Profar and Jake Skole loaded the bases, Villanueva ripped an RBI single to plate Lane and put Hickory in front, 7-0.
While the Crawdads were swinging away, winning pitcher Roman Mendez (9-1) kept the GreenJackets off the board with six scoreless innings of work. Mendez struck out seven, allowed three hit0s and walked three. Jorge Marban came on and worked two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth; Matt Thompson slammed the door with a scoreless ninth.
NOTES: The 'Dads will return home for a four-game set against the Hagerstown Suns at L.P. Frans Stadium from Mon., Aug. 1 - Thurs., Aug. 4. The series gets going with 2-for-1 Senior Night and Bingo on Mon., Aug. 1. First Pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m., gates will open at 6 pM.....That night will also be Kids Eat FREE Night, with all kids getting to chow down for free with the purchase of a ticket. The Crawdads Interns will also be competing throughout the game in Intern Olympics to win fans great prizes!