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The Hickory Crawdads scored two runs in the first inning, and that made all the difference. Hickory held off Lakewood on Wednesday to defeat the first-place BlueClaws 5-3.
The win moves Hickory within 2-1/2 games of first place with three games remaining in the teamâ€™s final homestand of the 2010 season. Hickory and Lakewood play Game 2 at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Hickory starting pitcher Neil Ramirez worked six innings and gave up only one run. He struck out six batters, surrendered three hits, and earned the win.
Designated hitter Zach Zaneski hit an RBI double to drive in the Crawdadsâ€™ first run, and Jared Bolden hit an RBI grounder for an early 2-0 lead.
Ramirez gave up his lone run in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Stephen Batts.
The Crawdads scored two in the bottom of the fourth inning and another in the eighth.
Hickoryâ€™s Johan Yan picked up the save after a double play and groundball out in the ninth.
West Virginia 6