Salisbury, MD- The Hickory Crawdads punched their ticket to the South Atlantic League Championship as they defeated the Delmarva Shorebirds 1-0 on Friday night in ten innings.
Abdiel Mendoza delivered a stellar performance for the 'Dads. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, before allowing a walk and single with one out. Hever Bueno took over, getting out of the jam by inducing a double play. Bueno pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, but the Crawdads were unable to get any runs across, sending the game into extra innings.
The Crawdads scored in the tenth to take a 1-0 lead. Kole Enright drew a leadoff walk and advanced as Matt Whatley was hit by a pitch. The 'Dads loaded the bases as Frainyer Chavez drew a base on balls. Jax Biggers laid down a sacrifice bunt that Enright dashed home on to score the game's only run.
Kelvin Gonzalez came in to close out the game for the Crawdads in the bottom of the tenth inning. After striking out the first batter of the inning, Gonzalez allowed a single and hit a batter to put two runners on. Gonzalez ended the game on a double play, punching the 'Dads ticket to the South Atlantic League Championship.
The 'Dads will return to the Frans on Monday night to begin a best of five series against the Lexington Legends, who swept the Augusta GreenJackets to win the Southern Division. Games 1 and 2 will take place at the Frans on Monday and Tuesday at 7pm. Fans who donate items for the hurricane relief can get a free ticket to the game. Games 3-5 will be in Lexington Thursday through Saturday (if necessary).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.