The Hickory Crawdads doubled up the Rome Braves to open a six game road trip Tuesday, winning 12-6. Despite the win, the Crawdads were eliminated from winning the first half title in the South Division as Bowling Green won over Greenville 4-0, and leads the Crawdads by 2.5 games with two games remaining in the first half of the season.
Hickory started off hot, scoring 11 runs in the first three innings of the contest. In the first inning, Aaron Zavala led off the game with a home run to right field. The dinger is his fifth of the season. Luisangel Acuna then came up and singled and would then steal second and third bases. Evan Carter was walked putting runners on the corners. Trevor Hauver was walked, loading the bases without an out being recorded. Cody Freeman would account for the first out of the inning, on a sacrifice fly to right field, enabling Acuna to score. Keyber Rodriguez then singled, allowing Carter to score.
The Crawdads added three more runs in the second inning. Jake Guenther started the inning reaching first base on an fielding error by the Rome second baseman. Zavala singled, moving Guenther to second. Both runners advanced a base on a balk. One out later, Evan Carter hit his fifth triple of the season, scoring both Guenther and Zavala. Hauver then doubled, scoring Carter.
But the big inning for Hickory was in the third, when Hickory scored five runs. Leading off the inning, Chris Seise singled. Scott Kapers then singled as Seise moved the second. One out later, Zavala doubled scoring Seise. Acuna was walked loading the bases. Carter then hit a grand slam to right center field and Hickory took a 11-0 lead after the third inning.
Rome scored three runs in the fifth inning and one run in the seventh. Hickory tacked on a run in the eight inning when Hauver hit a solo home run to right field. The Braves would push two across in the eighth, but the Crawdads held Rome to one final base runner in the ninth and Hickory won 12-6.
Carter was a double shy of hitting for the cycle. He totaled six RBI in the contest. Zavala was three-for-six batting with three runs scored and two RBI. Every Crawdad starter had at least one hit.
Tekoah Roby got the win on the mound for Hickory. He pitched six innings, allowed five hits, three runs but struck out nine batters and walked only two. Four Crawdad pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts against Rome batters.
The Crawdads are 37-27 on the first half of the season. They continue their series against Rome through Sunday.