The Hickory Crawdads may have out-hit the Greensboro Grasshoppers 6-3 Sunday night but it was the walks the 'Dads drew that proved to be the difference, as Hickory used 5 free passes and no hits to score the two go ahead runs in the 6th for a 3-1 win over the 'Hoppers at NewBridge Bank Park.
The Crawdads and Grasshoppers entered the 6th inning tied at 1-1 thanks to a pair of standout pitching performances by Collin Wiles for Hickory and Luis Castillo for Greensboro. The 'Dads had out-hit the hometown team, but also had stranded seven batters on the bases over the first five frames to keep the score deadlocked. The 'Hoppers finally turned to the bullpen in the 6th and the Crawdads were able to take advantage of the wildness of reliever Tyler Kane, as the club drew five walks and scored two runs on an RBI sacrifice fly by Michael De Leon and a bases loaded, RBI walk from Josh Morgan to take a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish.
The mid-game run production backed a great performance by Wiles and the Hickory bullpen, which held the Greensboro lineup in check for the second straight night. Wiles (9-3) earned the win after holding the 'Hoppers to just one run on three hits and five strikeouts over six innings pitched. Following a one hour and 15 minute rain delay after the end of the 6th, reliever Kelvin Vasquez went the rest of the way and earned his first save of the year with three scoreless frames out of the pen.
The lone run for the 'Dads that was not produced on walks came in the 2nd, when Luke Tendler singled to right and Jairo Beras walked before Jonathan Meyer chopped an RBI single into center field to bring home Tendler and give the Crawdads a 1-0 lead. The Grasshoppers countered in the bottom of the 4th, when KJ Woods lined a 2-out, solo homer to right to tie the score at 1-1 before Hickory's walk-powered rally two innings later.
Meyer finished the night with the 'Dads lone RBI, going 1-3 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. Tendler continued his hot hitting in the 2nd half with his second straight multi-hit game going 2-4 with a run scored, while Carlos Arroyo went 2-4 with a double and a walk.
The Crawdads (50-29/6-5) become the first South Atlantic League team to reach the 50-win plateau with the victory. The 'Dads will try to make it three straight wins over the Grasshoppers (31-49/2-9) in game three of their four-game series Monday night at 7:00 pm.
Rutherford County: 8
Caldwell County: 7
Series tied at 2-2.
Taylorsville: 2, 12 innings
Shelby wins series 3-0.
The Hickory Crawdads celebrated the 4th of July with an aerial assault of their own Saturday night, as the 'Dads exploded for 11 runs on 13 hits including two home runs in an 11-2 rout of the Greensboro Grasshoppers at NewBridge Bank Park.
Five Hickory hitters finished the contest with a multi-hit game, including a pair of 3-hit performances from All-Stars Jose Trevino (3-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Luke Tendler (3-5, 2 RBI, 2 R). The Crawdads entered the night leading the South Atlantic League in home runs and once again used the long ball to their advantage with a solo shot by Trevino to tie the game in the 2nd and a 3-run blast from Jonathan Meyer to put the score out of reach in the 8th.
All of the offense provided plenty of support for the 'Dads pitching trio of Ariel Jurado, Yohander Mendez, and Chris Dula, who held the Grasshoppers to single runs in the 1st and 9th innings while striking out a combined 11 batters.
Greensboro was the team that struck first in the contest, as first baseman Arturo Rodriguez lofted a high, solo home run to left off of Jurado in the 1st for a 1-0 score. The Crawdads responded with a long ball of their own in the 2nd, when Trevino lined his team-leading 10th big fly of the year to left for a solo shot to tie the score at 1-1.
The 'Dads took control of the contest two innings later when they plated four runs in the 4th to go ahead 5-1. All nine batters came to the plate in the frame, with Josh Morgan driving in a run on a double, Tender picking up an RBI with a single to right, and Meyer collecting an RBI with a base knock.
Hickory pulled away with another big inning in the 8th, when the club brought home five runs on five hits for a 10-1 advantage. Tendler and Jairo Beras drove in the first two tallies with a pair of RBI singles, while Meyer followed with his first long ball of the year for a 3-run blast.
The Crawdads scored one last run in the top of the 9th on an RBI double by Trevino while the 'Hoppers picked up an unearned tally in the bottom of the frame before Dula closed the door for the 11-2 final.
Mendez (1-1) earned the win for the 'Dads after tossing 3.2 scoreless innings of relief. Greensboro starter Tyler Kolek (4-5) took the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, on 7 hits over four innings on the mound.
The Crawdads (49-29/5-5) and Grasshoppers (31-48/2-8) will match up again Sunday evening at 4:00 pm in game two of their 4-game series.
Caldwell County: 3, 10
Rutherford County: 5, 0
Caldwell County leads series 2-1.
Taylorsville, ppd. rain
The Hickory Crawdads normally sure-handed defense proved to be the team's undoing Friday night, as the 'Dads committed two errors that allowed three unearned runs to score resulting in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Greenville Drive in front of a season-high crowd of 4,623 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Crawdads entered the 7th inning leading 3-2 and with starting pitcher Brett Martin back on the mound after retiring the last 12 consecutive batters. Following a walk and a groundout to start the frame Martin got Greenville left fielder Mike Meyers to strikeout on a ball in the dirt for what should have been the second out of the inning, but Hickory catcher Jonathan Meyer's throw to first to complete the K sailed into right field allowing a run to score to tie the game and placing the go-ahead runner at third base. One out later, Drive right fielder Bryan Hudson lined an RBI single into center field off of Crawdads reliever Joe Filomeno for the deciding run in the 'Dads 4-3 defeat.
Greenville jumped out to the initial lead in the game as well, with another Hickory error playing a role. Drive leadoff hitter Yoan Moncada started the night with a triple to center field in the 1st and came in two batters later on an RBI sacrifice fly for a 1-0 score. The next inning began with a lead off single by Meyers before he took second base on a wild pitch, moved to third on an errant pickoff throw by Martin, and finally scored on an RBI groundout for a 2-0 Greenville advantage.
Martin settled down from there and would hold the Drive scoreless over the next four frames while retiring 12 in a row. The Hickory offense responded in the 3rd, when Jose Cardona lined a solo home run to start the inning before Luke Tendler roped an RBI double to right to bring home Josh Morgan and tie the score at 2-2. The Crawdads took the lead the very next inning on anther solo homer, this time from Juremi Profar who connected on his first home run on the year to give the 'Dads the lead at 3-2.
The Hickory offense went cold over the next four innings as the Greenville pitching staff retired 14 of the next 15 batters before the 'Dads attempted one last rally in the 9th when Jairo Beras doubled to left with one out, but Drive reliever Jamie Callahan retired the next two hitters to end the game at 4-3.
Greenville starter Jalen Beeks (7-4) earned the win with three runs allowed on seven hits over 6 innings pitched. Martin (3-3) was the hard luck loser for the Crawdads after giving up four runs, one earned, on three hits over 6.2 IP. Callahan (1) earned the save with three scoreless innings of relief.
Profar ended the night 1-4 with a home run, while Cardona finished 1-3 with his long ball. Morgan completed the game as the lone 'Dad with a multi-hit game after going 2-4 with a run scored.
The Crawdads (48-29/4-5) will now head on the road for nine games beginning with a 4-game series in Greensboro starting Saturday night at 7:00 pm.
Rutherford County, ppd. rain
Hickory wins series 3-0.
Shelby leads series 2-0
Lenoir-Rhyne's Haylea Salamon placed second in the women’s discus throw at the 2015 Canadian Track and Field Junior Championships Friday at Foote Field.
Salamon, a freshman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA, finished with a 148’6” while Obeng Marfo of York University won with a 150’1”. Salamon competes for the Saskatoon Track and Field Club.
With her second-place performance, Salamon earned a spot on the Canadian Junior National Team and will be compete in the 2015 Panamerican Junior Athletics Championships which take place on Friday, July 31, through Sunday, August 2.
The meet will take place in Edmonton as well and will have over 500 athletes from 38 countries.
This year for Lenoir-Rhyne, Salamon placed 12th at the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Allendale, Mich., in the women’s discus throw en route to Second-Team All-American honors.
In addition, Salamon won the league championship in the women’s discus throw and was named the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Women’s Co-Field Athlete Of The Year and Freshman Of The Year.
On Saturday, May 9, Salamon set the school record in the women’s discus – 154’11” – at the Georgia Invitational in Athens, Ga., and earned All-Southeast Region honors by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The Hickory Crawdads were one strike away from coming away with a 1-0 victory three times Thursday night, but the visiting Greenville Drive rallied to tie the game in the 9th before the game finally ended with a 2-1 'Dads loss in 13 innings at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Crawdads entered the 9th inning holding on to a 1-0 lead they had put together in the 3rd. The Drive got their leadoff man on base, but Hickory reliever Ricardo Rodriguez induced a double play to move the 'Dads one out away from the win. It was from that point that Greenville mounted their rally with a 2-out walk followed by back-to-back two-strike hits to score the tying run and force extra innings. Four frames later, the Drive produced the winning run on consecutive doubles to take the 2-1 lead they would win by.
The decisive doubles in the 13th were helped out by a pair of unlucky defensive plays by the Crawdads. With one out in the final inning, Greenville shortstop Javier Guerra slapped a line drive hit to right and took a big turn around first. Hickory right fielder Jairo Beras threw behind the runner in an attempt to pick him off, but the speedy Guerra was able to take second base on the throw. The next batter for the Drive was left fielder Mike Meyers who hit a hard ground ball to third, but 'Dads third baseman Juremi Profar was unable to field a bad hop resulting in the game-winning RBI double for Greenville.
Prior to the 9th, the Crawdads maintained a 1-0 lead on the strength of some solid pitching. The lone Hickory run came in the 3rd on a line drive by Beras that ricocheted off of Greenville second baseman Yoan Moncada's glove and careened into center field for an RBI single. The lone run looked like it would be enough, as 'Dads starting pitcher Cody Buckel tossed a season-high 6 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts while Rodriguez put up scoreless frames in the 7th and 8th before allowing the tying run in the 9th.
Greenville reliever Mario Alcantara (3-1) earned the win after shutting out the 'Dads over his three innings pitched. Hickory reliever Shane McCain (0-1) took the loss with one run allowed over 1.1 frames on the mound.
Profar ended the night as the only 'Dad with a multi-hit game going 2-4 with a walk and a run scored, while Beras finished 1-5 with an RBI and Jose Cardona went 1-4 with a walk.
The Crawdads (48-28/4-4) and Drive (42-36/4-4) will wrap up their four-game series on Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.
After conversations between Hickory Motor Speedway and the Southern Modified race Tour KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series, the KOMA Unwind event at Hickory Motor Speedway set for Friday, July 3rd has been rescheduled for Labor Day, Monday, September 7th.
“With all the available weather information pointing to a rainy day with the possibility of some severe weather, we felt it best to reschedule the event”, said HMS promoter, Kevin Piercy. “We want everyone attending our events to have a positive experience. Our fans and competitors are very important to us and we want to do everything in our power to give them a great event every time we open the gates”, Piercy said.
“I want to thank Kevin for the opportunity to bring the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series to one of the most historic tracks in the region. Hickory hosted the first KOMA Unwind series event last year and we want everyone to have a chance to see more of our brand of racing at a great track. Labor Day at Hickory will be another great opportunity to showcase the Modifieds and the KOMA Unwind series and with Hickory making this event a part of a great weekend at the track with the running of the “Bobby Issac Memorial” on Saturday and the KOMA Unwind Modifieds on Monday, race fans can experience some of the best racing around”, said SMRT Series Director, Randy Myers.
More information on this great weekend at a great track will be coming soon.
Caldwell County: 19
Rutherford County: 7
Caldwell County leads the best of five series, 1-0.
Hickory leads the best of five series, 2-0
Shelby leads the best of five series, 1-0.