The rubber match between Hickory and Hagerstown on the baseball diamond Wednesday was undoubtedly a no contest.
The Suns (60-48, 20-18) had 11 hits on offense, include a pair of two-run homers and a bases clearing triple.
The Crawdads offense, on the other hand, was anything, but hot. Hickory (63-44, 23-16) had five hits from the plate with three of those happening in the second inning.
Hagerstown took a 5-0 lead in the top of the second inning behind the two home runs by shortstop Jason Martinson and catcher Adrian Nieto. The homers brought in a total of four runs.
A single by the Suns’ Sean Nicol later in the inning with two outs scored Michael Taylor to bring home a fifth run.
Mounting a comeback in the bottom of the second inning, the Crawdads led off the inning with a single by Joshua Richmond. The hit was wiped out though on the next at-bat, when Tomas Telis grounded into a double play.
Two more hits followed the double play, keeping Hickory’s chance at scoring in the inning alive, but following the second hit by Kellin Deglan, Jake Skole accidentally ran past second base, fell down and was tagged out trying to make his way back.
Hagerstown continued to work on Crawdads starting pitcher Joe Van Meter (5-4, 3.58). Back-to-back doubles by Kevin Keyes and Martinson in the inning plated a run for the Suns, extending their lead to 6-0.
While Van Meter struggled, Suns’ starter Ryan Demmin (2-1, 2.08) controlled the game. In his six-inning outing Wednesday, Demmin allowed four hits, struck out five batters and walked none, further frustrating the already stagnant Crawdads offense.
Colin Bates came in for Demmin in the seventh inning and continued the dominant pitching, allowing one hit, no walks and striking out two.
Coming in for Van Meter in relief after the sixth inning, Matt Thompson and Andrew Doyle both struggled. The duo combined to give up six runs, including five in the eighth inning.
A triple by Suns’ first basemen Brett Newsome with the bases loaded in the eighth cleared the plates and extended the Hagerstown lead to 12-0.
Newsome finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Martinson also had three RBIs in Wednesday’s game. Nicol, Keyes and Nieto drove in two RBIs each.
Hickory and Hagerstown play the finale of a four-game series tonight at L.P. Frans Stadium at 7 p.m.