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Thursday, 03 July 2014 22:11

Crawdads Get Five Solo Home Runs in Win at West Virginia

The Hickory Crawdads hitched their wagon to the long ball Wednesday night and rode it all the way to yet another 2nd half victory, as the 'Dads clubbed five solo home runs in a 5-1 win over the West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park.

The five homer performance marked the most long balls hit in a single game by the Crawdads this season, and pushed the 'Dads South Atlantic League-leading dinger total to 81 for the year. Both Lewis Brinson (10) and Nomar Mazara (12) went deep twice in the contest, while Ryan Cordell (7) chipped in with a solo shot as well. The Crawdads have now clubbed a home run in 10 straight games, sending 21 total big flies out of the yard during that stretch.

It was the Power who struck first in the game however, as West Virginia scrapped across a run in the 1st inning off of Crawdads starting pitcher Cole Wiper for a 1-0 lead. The inning could have been much worse for the 'Dads, but Wiper was able to minimize the damage by stranding the bases loaded.

The top of the 2nd inning brought the first of the Hickory homers, as Mazara and Brinson went deep in consecutive at-bats against West Virginia starter Buddy Borden to put the Crawdads ahead 2-1. Mazara's big fly sailed well past the right field wall and on to the adjacent street, while Brinson's prodigious blast flew over the video board and clock in left-center field.

The lead grew to 3-1 in the 4th when Brinson connected off of Borden again, this time sending another solo blast off the video board in left-center. Fast forward to the top of the 6th, and the 'Dads connected on back-to-back homers for the second time when Cordell and Mazara crushed the first two pitches from Power reliever Shane Carle over the fence to give Hickory a 5-1 lead.

The Crawdads bullpen would take it from there, as Ryne Slack and Jose Monegro combined to shutout West Virginia on just one hit and five strikeouts over the final five innings of the game. Slack (6-1) earned the win for the 'Dads with three scoreless frames out of the bullpen. Borden (3-6) took the loss for the Power after giving up three runs on five hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts over five innings pitched.

Both Mazara and Brinson finished the game 2-4 with two solo home runs, while Cordell ended the night 1-4 with his big fly. Luis Marte led the non-homer portion of the Hickory offense, going 3-4 with three singles.

The Crawdads (12-2) have now won six straight while jumping out to the best 2nd half record in the SAL. The 'Dads will go for the 3-game sweep over the Power (8-6) Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm.

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