Charleston, SC - The Hickory Crawdads survived a mid-game offensive drought, a Charleston rally, and even a power outage at the ballpark Wednesday night, before rallying for two 9th innings runs to come away with a 5-3 win over the RiverDogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
The Crawdads jumped out to a 1st inning lead off of starting pitcher Ian Clarkin and the RiverDogs, with Ryan Cordell reaching on an error before Ronald Guzman and Travis Demeritte each came through with RBI singles for a 2-0 'Dads advantage.
That would stand as the game's only runs until 6th, when the Demeritte became the 'Dads only base runner in a 4 inning stretch when he lined a solo homer to left to put Hickory ahead 3-0. The RiverDogs were finally able to get to Crawdads starter Kelvin Vasquez in the bottom of the 6th however, stringing together four consecutive two-out hits to score three runs and tie the score at 3-3.
With the game still deadlocked in the top of the 7th, newly activated Crawdad Michael De Leon came up to bat with two outs and nobody on when the power suddenly went out at "The Joe", causing a 21-minute delay. De Leon would eventually ground out and both teams would go scoreless in the eighth, sending the tie contest to the 9th.
The slumbering Hickory bats bounced back in the game's final frame, as Jairo Beras singled to left to start the inning before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Janluis Castro and taking third on a passed ball. That's when De Leon came through with the go-ahead RBI sacrifice fly to right to score Beras and give the Crawdads the lead back at 4-3. The 'Dads tacked on another run in the inning when Evan Van Hoosier lined a solo homer just inside the right field foul pole for the final 5-3 score.
Hickory reliever Cody Kendall (3-2) earned the win with 3.1 shutout innings out of the bullpen. Charleston bullpen arm Omar Luis (1-1) took the loss after allowing the two 9th inning runs over his three innings pitched. Vasquez started the game with five scoreless frames for the 'Dads, before ending with three runs allowed on five hits, two walks, and a season-high eight strikeouts over 5.2 innings.
Demeritte led the 'Dads bats, going 2-3 with his team leading 7th home run, two RBI, and a walk. Van Hoosier went 2-5 with a homer while Guzman ended the game 1-4 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run.
The Crawdads (17-21) and RiverDogs (20-18) will match up again Thursday night at 7:05 pm in game two of their three-game series.