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Jayce Easley
Jayce Easley scored the game winner.
photo courtesy of

Hickory Crawdads Win in Unusual Walk-Off

The Hickory Crawdads came back in the late innings on Thursday night, winning 6-5 on a walk-off strikeout by Keyber Rodriguez.

Hudson Valley hit a pair of homers in the first to take a 3-0 lead.

The Crawdads fought back to tie it in the fifth. Cooper Johnson walked and Keyber Rodriguez picked up an infield single before Cam Cauley smacked his third homerun of the week, tying the game at 3.

The Renegades retook the lead with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Crawdads made another comeback to bring the score to 5-5. Abimelec Ortiz was hit on the elbow by a pitch and Tucker Mitchell belted his sixth homer of the year to even things up.

Frainyer Chavez led off the bottom of the ninth with a deep drive to left that nearly left the yard. Chavez ended up on second with a double and was replaced by pinch runner Jayce Easley. Cooper Johnson laid down a bunt advanced Easley to third. Keyber Rodriguez struck out but strike three wasn’t caught, forcing a throw to first. As Hudson Valley fielded the ball and threw to first, Easley broke for home and safely scored the winning run.

The win was the fourth walk-off of the season, with the first three coming off the bat of Cody Freeman. Hudson Valley leads the six-game series two games to one so far.