Greenville Falls to Hickory on Saturday
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Hickory Crawdads broke a 4-4 tie in the ninth to edge the Greenville Drive, 5-4, on Saturday night at Fluor Field.
Hickory opened the scoring with two runs in the third. With runners on second and third and no outs, Jax Biggers singled to score Frainyer Chavez and Josh Jung followed with a sac fly to right to bring in Jonathan Ornelas to give the Crawdads a 2-0 lead.
Greenville tied with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. Jonathan Ortega singled to lead off the frame and three batters later Brandon Howlett homered to left, his seventh of the season, to tie the game at 2-2.
Hickory regained the lead with lone runs in the fourth and sixth innings. A solo home run by Miguel Novoa in the fourth gave the road team a 3-2 lead. In the sixth, Pedro Gonzalez tripled to score Novoa and push it to 4-2.
Greenville evened it up with lone runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Ortega hit his second home run of the year, a solo shot to left, to trim the lead to 4-3. An RBI single by Triston Casas scored Brandon Howlett to tie the game at 4-4 after the eighth.
In the ninth, Hickory put runners on the corners with two outs. The winning run would come across as Ornelas scored from third on a stolen base, as Jung drew a throw to second on a stolen base.
Neither starter factored in the decision. Drive starter Alex Scherff allowed four runs on nine hits in 7.0 innings pitched, a career-long outing, with three strikeouts against three walks. Hickory starter Tyree Thompson allowed two runs on four hits in 6.0 innings pitched with nine strikeouts against three walks.
Hickory reliever Hever Bueno (3-1) earned the win, allowing two runs on four hits in 2.0 innings pitched with two strikeouts against no walks. Drive reliever Devon Fisher (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing a run on one hit and a walk in the ninth.
Howlett led the way for the Drive, going 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs and two RBI, while Ortega finished the night 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs and an RBI. Tyler Esplin added a 2-for-4 night at the plate, while Casas singled and drove in a run. Brendan Nail recorded a scoreless eighth inning, retiring the Crawdads in order.
The series concludes on Sunday with first pitch at 3:05 PM. Drive right-hander Hunter Haworth squares off against Hickory right-hander Abdiel Mendoza.
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