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Saturday, 31 May 2014 22:33

Hickory Crawdads Hits Into Four Double Plays in Loss

Jackson leads Crawdads on offense Jackson leads Crawdads on offense Hickory Crawdads

The Hickory Crawdads continually found themselves with runners on base with less than two outs Friday night, but more often than not those situations ended in disappointment as the 'Dads hit into four double plays in their 7-6 loss to the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field.

The double play pandemic proved to be a deciding factor in a tight game that saw the 'Dads and Drive tied or within a run of one another for six of the nine innings. Promising innings suddenly ended with twin killings in the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th, with the Crawdads having the tying run at third in both of the latter frames. Hickory avoided the double play in the 9th when the 'Dads scored one run and placed the tying and go ahead runners on base, but the Crawdads rally stopped short when Nomar Mazara grounded out to end the game.

The contest started with solid pitching from South Carolina natives Akeem Bostick of the Crawdads and Jamie Callahan of the Drive. It wasn't until a 4th inning wild pitch by Bostick allowed Jantzen Witte to score for Greenville that the Drive took a 1-0 lead.

The low scoring, well pitched ballgame quickly unraveled in the 5th however, when both teams struck for five-run half innings. The 'Dads sent 10 men to the plate in their half of the frame, with a two run home run by Travis Demeritte and a wild pitch to score Kellin Deglan plating the first three runs. The Crawdads received a huge break later in the inning when Witte dropped what would have been an inning ending popup with the bases loaded, allowing two more runs to score and giving Hickory a 5-1 lead.

Greenville answered right back with their own 5-run 5th, with the Drive using five hits and a walk to chase Bostick from the game and re-take the lead at 6-5. Greenville pushed their advantage to 7-5 in the 7th, taking advantage of four walks and a RBI sacrifice fly against Crawdads reliever Kevin Pucetas to plate the insurance run.

The 'Dads mounted one last rally in the top of the 9th when Greenville native Joe Jackson plated Ryan Cordell on a RBI single to make the score 7-6 and move Evan Van Hoosier to second as the potential tying run, but Mazara's ground out ended the rally and the game for the Crawdads.

Jackson paced the Hickory hitters with a 3-4 game including a triple and a RBI. Demeritte ended the night 2-4 with his 10th homer of the year, while Vickerson walked three times and scored.

Greenville reliever Raynel Velette (4-0) earned the win with 3.1 scoreless innings pitched, while Bostick (2-3) took the loss after giving up six runs on seven hits over his 4.2 frames on the mound. Drive bullpen arm Mike Adams (3) picked up a save despite allowing a run in the 9th.

The 'Dads (26-27) and Drive (27-26) will meet up again Saturday night at 7:05 in game three of the four game series.

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