Hickory, NC - Charleston RiverDogs starter Rafael DePaula stuck-out 10 batters and no-hit Hickory through five-innings of the second game of Sunday's doubleheader, however it was not enough as the RiverDogs (8-9) fell in both games against the Hickory Crawdads (11-7). Game two of the doubleheader was a pitchers duel won by the Crawdads by a final of 1-0 with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. In game one, it was all Crawdads as they had their way with the RiverDogs defeating Charleston 10-2 at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory, North Carolina.
The RiverDogs got off to a nice start in game one of Sunday's doubleheader. Outfielder Taylor Dugas walked to open the game, advanced to second on a wild pitch and would later come around to score thanks to an RBI single by Dante Bichette, Jr. Following the eventful first, the RiverDogs offense struck out nine times and did not score another run until the top of the sixth inning. The RiverDogs ended game one with just two runs on three hits.
Starter Cesar Vargas (1-1) took the loss as he lasted 4.2 innings giving up seven runs, six of them earned on seven hits. He struck out two, walked one and served up two homers. With those two home runs, Hickory ended the four game series with eight long balls.
For Hickory, their starter C.J. Edwards was on top of his game Sunday. Edwards went four innings, giving up one run on one hit, struck out eight and walked one. Reliever Tyler Smith (3-0) picked up the victory after tossing an inning of shutout ball. Offensively, the Crawdads were led by Nomar Mazara, who went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and an RBI single. Shortstop Luis Marte batted in the ninth spot in the order and went 2-for-2 with a solo homer, a walk, and a single to go along with three runs scored.
Game two of the doubleheader was a pitchers duel, led by Charleston RiverDogs starter Rafael DePaula. He threw five no-hit innings and struck out 10 Crawdad hitters. DePaula's season high in strikeouts came in his season debut when he had 11 strikeouts against Greenville.
Hickory starter Connor Sadzeck was equally impressive Sunday afternoon. Sadzeck went six innings, he gave up no runs on three hits and he struck out eight. Both starters did not factor in the decision in game two.
After seven-innings of play, the game was still scoreless and played on until the bottom of the ninth. The RiverDogs brought in reliever Alex Smith (2-1), who did not record a single out. Smith gave up a leadoff single to Nick Williams. Williams then stole second base while Joey Gallo was at the plate. After a Gallo walk, Ryan Rua would single in Williams from second and Hickory claimed the 1-0 walk-off win in the ninth. With the win, the Hickory Crawdads have now won seven straight while the RiverDogs have lost four straight.
Picking up the win for the Crawdads was reliever Alexander Claudio (2-1). Claudio reliever starter Connor Sadzeck and tossed three no-hit scoreless innings while striking out six.
The rough and short four-game road trip is over and the RiverDogs now head home to Charleston to begin a seven-game homestand at The Joe starting Tuesday evening. After taking Monday off, the RiverDogs will welcome the West Virginia Power in for three games, before entertaining the Kannapolis Intimidators for four games. The RiverDogs will send RHP Gabe Encinas (2-0, 0.53 ERA) to the mound, while West Virginia counters with RHP John Kuchno (0-1, 7.30 ERA). Tickets are still available by visiting riverdogs.com or by stopping by the Riley Park box office. You can listen to Tuesday's game online at www.riverdogs.com.