Nomar Mazara has been in a run-producing groove. Not coincidentally, Class A Hickory has been unbeatable of late.
The Rangers' ninth-ranked prospect went 3-for-4 with an RBI as the Crawdads rallied for their club-record 11th straight win, an 11-9 triumph over Delmarva.
Mazara opened the scoring for Hickory when he doubled home Joe Jackson with two outs in the top of the first inning. After extending his hitting streak to six games, he walked twice and scored a run.
The 19-year-old outfielder has been on fire in June, batting .410 with three homers and 17 RBIs in 10 games, a stretch that virtually coincides with the winning streak.
"You know what, I think he's just that kind of kid," Crawdads manager Corey Ragsdale said. "He seems to thrive in those situations, which is a positive. I think for the most part he's pretty much unflappable. He's the same whether he's 4-for-4 or 0-for-4. He's very talented. He's been swinging the bat well."
Despite plating only seven runs in April, the native of the Dominican Republic is tied for 11th in the South Atlantic League with 39 RBIs. He's also tied for sixth with eight homers.
During the streak, which started with a 7-1 win over Greenville on May 31, the Crawdads have outscored opponents, 89-44. Hickory reeled off 10 straight wins in July 2007.
"The boys have been playing hard and playing well," Ragsdale said. "I think we've just put together better at-bats. They've starting swinging the bat well and they've had more confidence offensively. That's the No. 1 thing that stands out, the competitiveness of each and every at-bat. They're fighting to the last strike and to the last out for every out, every inning and every game."
That fight was evident Tuesday. After watching Delmarva erase an eight-run deficit and take a 9-8 lead into the ninth, Hickory got RBIs from Rangers No. 13 prospect Travis Demeritte, Luis Marte and Michael De Leon.
"I'll tell you what," Ragsdale said, "I saw some guys who had the opportunity to lay down, the opportunity to get their heads down and they didn't. Once again, they fought, they battled and they got the job done. They could have easily got upset and laid down a little, and instead they were rewarded."
De Leon finished with two hits and three RBIs, while Jackson reached base twice and scored two runs.
Reliever Cody Kendall improved to 6-2 after giving up two hits over 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Anthony Vega and Jared Breen drove in three runs apiece for the Shorebirds.