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Monday, 30 June 2014 12:23

Guzman the Hero For the Hickory Crawdads on Sunday

Ronald Guzman Ronald Guzman Hickory Crawdads

It was another game, another hero, and another win for the Hickory Crawdads Sunday night, this time with first baseman Ronald Guzman coming through with a walk-off, RBI single to center to give the 'Dads a 4-3 victory over the visiting Greenville Drive at L.P. Frans Stadium.

One night after the Crawdads came away with a 5-4 walk-off win over the Drive courtesy of a 9th inning passed ball, the 'Dads utilized a hit, a walk, and a hit batsman before Guzman delivered the game-winning base knock. The timely hit snapped a 0-33 skid for the Hickory slugger, giving him his first hit of the second half of the season.

For the third straight ballgame it was Greenville who took the initial advantage, as left fielder Kendrick Perkins continued his assault on Hickory pitchers with a RBI single in the 2nd for a 1-0 Drive lead. Greenville doubled the score to 2-0 the next inning, when shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin drove home Carlos Coste on a RBI groundout.

Crawdads center fielder Lewis Brinson provided the Hickory response in the bottom of the 3rd, as the leadoff hitter crushed a solo home run to left to cut the score to 2-1. Brinson came through again in his next at-bat in the 6th, lining an opposite field solo blast to right-center to tie the game at 2-2. Two batters later, the 'Dads used the long ball one more time when Joe Jackson crushed a no-doubt solo homer to right for a 3-2 Hickory lead.

The Drive came right back with a game tying run of their own however, as Perkins doubled and scored in the 7th to deadlock and game at 3-3. The Crawdads had opportunities to re-take the lead in both the 8th and 9th frames, but it wasn't until extra innings that the team finally came through.

Jackson led off the frame with a single to left, followed by a walk to Nomar Mazara, and a hit-by-pitch to Ryan Cordell on a bunt attempt to load the bases with no outs for Guzman. The 6'4" Dominican Republic native then lined a base hit up the middle past the drawn in infield to score Jackson and give the 'Dads the 4-3 win.

Guzman ended the night 1-5 with his game-winning knock, while Brinson went 2-5 with two home runs and Jackson finished 2-5 with a homer.

Crawdads All-Star closer Cody Kendall (7-2) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief, while Drive reliever Raynel Valette (4-1) took the loss after giving up one run on four hits during his one-plus innings pitched.

The Crawdads (8-2) have now won three straight and 24 of their last 27 games to take over sole possession of first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division. The 'Dads will go for the 4-game sweep of the Drive (3-8) Monday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

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