The Hickory Crawdads bounced back from Monday's tenth-inning loss and to beat the Kannapolis Intimidators 6-3 in 11 innings Tuesday night at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.
Tuesday's extra inning game was the fourth between these rivals in 2014. It's also the first time the Crawdads (66-48 overall; 25-20, second half of the South Atlantic League season) have pulled out an extra-inning win against Kannapolis (53-59; 24-21) this season. The win also snapped a four-game skid for Hickory and kept the team only 3.5 games back of first place in the SAL's Northern Division. And the win also gives Hickory sole possession of third place.
Greensboro maintained its grip on first place with an 8-5 win at Delmarva; Hagerstown remains one-half game back by knocking off West Virginia, 10-6.
The Crawdads scored all six of their runs in clusters. The last time in the 11th, when they combined two hits, two walks, and two wild pitches to score three times off losing pitcher Andrew Mitchell (3-3) of the Intimidators. Zach Cone and Travis Demeritte got things going with back-to-back walks. Ronald Guzman followed and struck out after a failed sacrifice bunt attempt of his own, but ninth-place hitter Luis Marte came through with a single to left field that loaded the bases with only one out.
Hickory finally broke through, thanks to Mitchell's first of two wild pitches in the inning. Cone scored from third for a 4-3 Crawdads lead. Michael De Leon followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Demeritte; Evan Van Hoosier capped off the scoring with an RBI double to left to bring home Marte for the 'Dads 6-3 advantage.
Hickory reliever Felix Carvallo (4-2) shut the door from there. The left-hander set down the Intimidators in order in the bottom of the 11th. Carvallo tossed three scoreless innings to get the win.
The teams battled to a scoreless tie through the first four innings of the game. Akeem Bostick of the 'Dads and Andre Wheeler for the Intimidators kept their opponents at bay until the bottom of the fifth. Kannapolis finally got on the board, when Christian Stinger delivered a two-out, run-scoring single to right that gave the Intimidators a 1-0 lead. That hit also chased Bostick from the game. Kannapolis added two more runs in the sixth for a 3-0 lead. The Intimidators did all their damage against all-star reliever Ryne Slack, who gave up two runs, on two hits, a walk, and he also hit a man in the frame.
But the Crawdads tied things up in the top of the 8th. Marte and De Leon each singled with one out off of Kannapolis reliever Jose Brito. Van Hoosier roped a double down the right field line to score Marte. Following a pitching change that brought in reliever David Putman, Ryan Cordell plated De Leon on an RBI, infield single that made it 3-2. Kellin Deglan brought home the final run and tied the game with a RBI single to right field.
Van Hoosier finished the night 3-6 with two doubles, two RBI, and a run scored; Marte also had a three-hit night going 3-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base.
The Crawdads wrap up their seven-game road trip tonight against the Intimidators tonight at 7:05 p.m.
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!
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
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!