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Saturday, 31 May 2014 23:27

Hickory Crawdads Roll Over Greenville

Demeritte hit his 11th HR of the season Demeritte hit his 11th HR of the season Hickory Crawdads

The Hickory Crawdads continued their recent resurgence with another all-around solid game Saturday night, as the 'Dads defeated the hometown Greenville Drive 7-1 at Fluor Field to move their record back to .500 and secure a winning month of May.

The Crawdads record now stands at 27-27 thanks to a 16-15 month that saw the 'Dads lose 6-straight games before recovering down the stretch. Saturday's win once again featured the good hitting that has been a staple of the Hickory turnaround, with the Crawdads scoring seven runs on eight hits, six walks, and only three team strikeouts.

Second baseman Travis Demeritte led the way going 1-3 with a home run, two RBI, and a walk. Demeritte's 8th inning big fly was his 11th of the year, tying him for the South Atlantic League lead with Asheville's Correlle Prime. Third baseman Nick Vickerson reached base safely four times thanks to a single, two walks, and a hit-by-pitch, while catcher Joe Jackson finished the night 2-4 with a double, a RBI, a walk, and a run scored.

The offensive performance backed a solid effort by 'Dads starting pitcher Kelvin Vasquez, who struck out seven while allowing only one unearned run on six hits over his five innings pitched. Crawdads relievers Ricardo Rodriguez and Cody Kendall were effective out of the bullpen as well, with the duo shutting out the Drive over the final four innings.

The Crawdads jumped out to an early advantage in the 1st, when Vickerson was hit by a pitch and later scored on a double to left from Jackson combined with a fielding error by Greenville left fielder Kendrick Perkins for a 1-0 Hickory lead.

That score lasted until the 6th, when the 'Dads plated two more unearned runs for a 3-0 advantage. Jackson walked with one out before Ryan Cordell followed with an infield single to put two men on base. Jackson would eventually score on an error by Drive shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin while Cordell came home on a RBI sacrifice fly to center from Roanld Guzman.

Following the lone run of the game by the Drive in the bottom of the 6th to make the score 3-1, the Crawdads answered with a run in the 7th, two in the 8th, and one last tally in the 9th for the final 7-1 win. The 7th inning run came on a double by Kellin Deglan, a walk to Evan Van Hoosier, and an eventual double steal that saw Van Hoosier take second while Deglan ran home from third. Demeritte provided the offense in the 8th with his 2-run blast over the monster in left, while a Jackson RBI single in the 9th plated Van Hooiser for the game's final run.

Vasquez (3-1) earned the win for the Crawdads for his solid start, while Greenville starter Teddy Stankiewicz (4-3) took the loss after allowing three unearned runs on four hits over his six innings pitched.

The Crawdads have now won two of the first three games in their series against the Drive (27-27), and will go for the series win in the finale on Sunday at 4:05 pm.

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