Crawdads take advantage of late errors
The Lexington Legends committed five errors, including two crucial errors in the 10th inning, to lift the Hickory Crawdads to a 7-5 win over the Legends at Applebees Park in Lexington, KY. The victory earned the Crawdads a split in the four game series against Lexington, the first series in which Hickory earned at least a split in a series during the month of August.
Both teams played showed poor defensive play throughout the night as they combined for seven errors, which led to eight unearned runs between the two teams.
Hickory opened a 3-0 lead in the first inning off Legends' starter Carlos Landeuth. Crawdads' DH Keanon Simon led off the game with a home run to right, his third of the season, all in the month of August. After a popup, Landeuth hit Matt Hague with a pitch. Eric Huber then hit a ball that Legends' CF Steve Brown dropped, allowing Huber to reach base and advancing Hague to second base. Tom Hagan followed with a single to right to score Hague and move Huber to third. The scoring rally was completed when Albert Laboy plated Huber on a sacrifice fly.
The Crawdads extended the lead to 4-0 as Laboy hit a solo home run off Landeuth, Laboy's 5th of the season.
Crawdads starter Duke Welker retired the first six Lexington hitters before running into trouble in the third inning due to suspect Hickory defensive play. Welker led off the inning by walking Steve Brown. He dug a larger hole one batter later as the next batter, Julian Hensen hit a ball to Welker. His attempted throw to force the runner at second was wide, leaving runners at first and second. After a sacrifice bunt by Bryan Brown moved the runners up 90 feet, Craig Corrado hit a ground ball that Crawdads' SS Silvio Pena fielded and threw wildly to first base. The throw allowed both Brown and Hensen to score and Corrado to advance to second. Eric Taylor singled to rightfielder Laboy. Laboy's throw to catch Corrado at third was unsuccessful, which allowed Taylor to advance to second. The play proved crucial as the next batter, Brian Pellegrini, singled to left, scoring both Corrado and Taylor to tie the game.
Lexington took the lead in the next inning as Brandon Barnes led off with a double and scored on a two-out single by Bryan Brown to give the Legends a 5-4 lead.
Both starting pitchers settled down during the remainder of their respective outings as the score remained at 5-4 until Hickory tied the score in the 7th, once again with the help of the Legends defense. In the 7th, Keanon Simon reached on a single off reliever Fernando Abad. Simon came around to score as Matt Hague singled to right field. Legends RF Brandon Barnes allowed the ball to skip past him, which scored Simon for the game tying run.
The game remained at 5-5 until the tenth inning when the Crawdads once again took advantage of Lexington miscues to take the lead. With one out Tom Hagan drew a walk from Legend reliever Reid Kelly. Laboy followed with a potential double play ball to shortstop. The throw by SS Caitlin Everett was mishandled by 2B Bryan Brown and the subsequent throw to first was late allowing both runners to reach safely. The go-ahead hit was provided by Greg Picart with a double off the wall to score Hagan. The relay throw from the outfield was dropped by Bryan Brown, which allowed Laboy to score the final run of the game.
The Crawdads bullpen combined for their best effort in quite a while as the tandem of Fernando Ortiz (1 IP, 2 Ks, 1 BB), Victor Igsema (2 IPs, 2 Ks, 1 H) and Serguey Linares (1 IP, 1 K, 1 H) shut out the Legend hitters over the final four innings with only four runners reaching base. Igsema recorded his first victory evening his record at 1-1. Linares earned his first save of the season for the Crawdads.
Reid Kelly took the loss for the Legends evening his record at 3-3.
Hickory returns home to begin a three game series with the "Fighting Vacationers" of Asheville on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm. Probables: for Hickory Rafael De Los Santos (3-9, 6.00) and for Asheville Shane Lindsay (1-1, 4.58). It's tie-dye boxer shorts night, courtesy of americantiedye.com. The game is broadcast on 92.1 FM WMNC and hickorycrawdads.com with Mike Janela providing the play-by-play.
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South Atlantic League Stories from August 22, 2008
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