The Hickory Crawdads just keep finding different ways to win. On Saturday, they scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth and defeated the Greenville Drive 5-4 at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Jairo Beras scored the winning run from third. Beras was 2-2 on the night with a double, two walks and two runs scored. Beras got things started when he reached on an infield single. Luis Marte moved him to second base with a sacrifice bunt, and Beras took third on a ground out by Evan Van Hoosier.
Beras scored when Jacob Dahlstrand's 0-2 pitched to Michael De Leon missed outside and got by the glove of All-Star catcher Jake Romanski for a passed ball, allowing Beras to dash home from third for the game-winning run.
All five Crawdads' (49-30 overall; 8-2 second half of the South Atlantic League season) runs were unearned. The 'Dads have now won 23 of their last 26 games, and remain in first place in the Northern Division of the SAL standings.
Trailing 1-0, Hickory rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take their first lead of the game at 3-1. Shortstop Michael De Leon brought home the first tally with a two-out, run-scoring triple to left-center field, followed immediately after by a two-run homer to left-center by Lewis Brinson.
But the Drive (37-42; 3-7) by plating a run in the sixth to narrow the score to 3-2 before coming away with two runs in the seventh to re-take the lead at 4-3. Both Greenville rallies were driven in by walks as the Drive received six walks over that two inning stretch.
Hickory tied the game in the eighth. Nomar Mazara and Ryan Cordell both singled before Mazara took third on an error and eventually came home on a double play ground out by Kellin Deglan for a 4-4 tie.
The wild finish made a winner out of Hickory reliever Jose Valdespina (2-0), who threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He gave up two hits with two strikeouts. Dahlstrand (4-4) took the loss after giving up two unearned runs over 3.2 frames on the mound.
De Leon joined Beras in having a good night at the plate finishing 2-3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Brinson ended the game going 1-3 with his fifth home run of the season and two RBI.
The Crawdads and Drive will play again Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m., in game three of their four-game series.
Crawdads Baseball School: Early registration for the Crawdads Baseball School ends THIS Monday (6/30)! Registration is only $99 for the next two days before rising to $115. The 4-day clinic runs July 22 - 25 and includes personal instruction from former major leaguers and current Crawdads players! Don't miss out! MORE
NASCAR Night: Former NASCAR driver Steve Park will be at L.P. Frans Stadium Sunday evening for NASCAR Night! The 'Dads will also be giving away 5 sets of tickets to the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11th! Make sure to wear your favorite NASCAR apparel for a $5 ticket to the game! PROMOTIONS
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!