The Asheville Tourists and Hickory Crawdads met Tuesday night for the second game of the South Atlantic League Championship Series.
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The Hickory Crawdads kept tacking runs on to their lead and the Asheville Tourists never figured things out at the plate in the first game of the South Atlantic League Championship Series. Hickory won 7-2 behind starting pitcher Pedro Payano and a sustained offensive attack to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
The scoring started for Hickory in the bottom of the second inning, with back-to-back doubles from Edwin Garcia and Jairo Beras that gave the Crawdads a 1-0 lead. Tourists’ starter Helmis Rodriguez calmed down, though, and worked through the inning with no further problems.
The Crawdads would push another run across in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Luke Tendler hit a solo home run to right field, making the game 2-0 in favor of Hickory playing at their home ballpark, LP Frans Stadium.
Two more Hickory runs in the sixth would end up chasing Rodriguez, though; Beras and Tendler were in the middle of it again, with the latter scoring on the former’s sacrifice fly, and then Garcia scoring on Eduard Pinto‘s double to make the game 4-0 in favor of Hickory.
Rodriguez ended up going six for Asheville, giving up four runs on five hits and four walks while only striking out one Hickory hitter. Asheville never figured it out at the plate, as Pedro Payano dominated for six scoreless innings for Hickory, allowing six hits and no walks while striking out eight batters along the way.
Three more Hickory runs in the eighth inning made it an even 7-0 lead for the Crawdads. Asheville didn’t get on board until the top of the ninth inning, when Shane Hoelscher hit a two-run home run off Hickory’s Dillon Tate, but the 7-2 loss was wrapped up long before that.
Hickory and Asheville meet again on Tuesday night at 5:05 pm MT for game two of the best-of-five series. Ryan Castellani will start the game for Asheville.