The Hickory Crawdads finally broke through by scoring nine runs on Wednesday afternoon, but the pitching staff coughed up 13 runs in a 13-9 loss to the Charleston RiverDogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
Joe Jackson and Jairo Beras provided the pop as they each belted a three-run homer. Michael De Leon got on base four times with a pair of singles and a pair of walks. But all the offense wasn't enough as the 'Dogs retaliated with a three-run homer from Yeicok Calderon and a go-ahead grand slam by Brandon Thomas in the bottom of the seventh to complete their three-game sweep of the 'Dads.
Hickory (70-52 overall; 29-24, second half of the South Atlantic League season) has also dropped four in a row, and they trail Hagerstown by 5 1/2 games for first place in the SAL's Northern Division.
Hickory fell behind early when Charleston jumped on Crawdads starting pitcher Collin Wiles for four runs on three hits in the first inning. Calderon had the big blow with a three-run blast to right field that gave the RiverDogs (61-62; 28-25) a 4-0 lead.
Wiles settled down and retired the next nine batters he faced. In turn, the Crawdads came through in the top of the fourth, when both Jackson and Beras launched their three-run homers that gave Hickory a 6-4 lead.
Charleston responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 6-6, but the 'Dads bats came back with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth and one more in the sixth to regain the lead, 9-6. Ronald Guzman plated both the runs in the fifth with a two-run single; Ryan Cordell had an RBI ground out in the sixth.
The RiverDogs began chipping away in the bottom of the sixth with two runs on three walks and a double off of Hickory reliever Scott Williams to cut the score to 9-8. The 'Dads turned to lefty reliever Felix Carvallo to escape the frame, but the Venezuela native loaded the bases with only one out in the seventh before giving way to fellow southpaw Luis Pollorena.
Pollorena, making his Crawdads debut, coughed up Thomas' grand slam to propel Charleston back on top at 12-9. The RiverDogs picked up another run off of Pollorena in the eighth. Carvallo (4-4) took the loss for the 'Dads after giving up three runs on three hits with two walks during his one inning stint. Charleston reliever Evan Rutckyj (4-2) earned the win. He gave up a run on three hits, with a walk, and four strikeouts during his three innings on the mound.
The Crawdads head back home to start a four-game home stand against the Delmarva Shorebirds. Thursday night's game begins at 7 p.m.
Battle of the Bags: The Crawdads 3rd Annual Battle of the Bags cornhole tournament is scheduled for TOMORROW! Registration is only $35, and 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! MORE
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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