HICKORY – Kyle Cody is pitching like he’s ready for a new challenge.
Cody, a 6-foot-7 right-hander, held visiting Greenville (S.C.) to three hits over seven innings on Sunday at the Hickory Crawdads won 3-0 in South Atlantic League (SAL) baseball.
He allowed no hits, struck out one and walked seven, and he’s been red-hot over his last 10 starts – 5-2 record, allowing 15 hits over 56 1/3 innings with 20 walks and 62 strikeouts.
On Sunday, Hickory scored twice in the second inning and a run in the seventh inning on a scorching afternoon that made that more than enough scoring behind Cody (6-6) and reliever Jacob Lemoine, who threw two innings, giving up a hit and striking out one, to gain his fourth save of the season.
The Crawdads (43-57, 16-14) remain tied for second place with Hagerstown (Md.) in the SAL’s Northern Division, 1 ½ games back of Delmarva (Md.) after the Shorebirds beat Rome (Ga.) 8-0 on Sunday. Hagerstown also won Sunday, beating Augusta (Ga.) 9-1.
Hickory has two games left in its current homestand against the Drive (55-43, 14-15) on Monday and Tuesday nights, both at 7 p.m.
The only hits Greenville could muster against Cody on Sunday were singles by Santiago Espinal and Tucker Tubbs in the sixth inning and a single by Rolandi Baldwin in the seventh. Tubbs singled in the eighth off Lemoine.
The Crawdads grabbed a 2-0 in the second inning when Andretty Codero singled and scored on a hit by Yohel Pozo and Anderson Tejada drove in a run with a ground ball out.
Hickory went up 3-0 with a run in the seventh inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by Blaine Prescott. It came after Pozo had reached on an error earlier in the inning.
Charles Leblanc had two hits and Leody Tevaras had two, including a double, to lead the Crawdads.
Hickory made three errors and went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, while the Drive was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left five on base.
Jhonathan Diaz (4-4) took the loss for Greenville, going five innings. He gave up three hits, two runs (both earned), walked two and struck out three.
But Diaz was no match for Cody, a former college baseball star at Kentucky who was drafted in the second round in 2015 but returned to the Wildcats. After his senior college season, the Texas Rangers drafted Cody in the sixth round.
If the Rangers advance Cody, he could be at the next level before turning 23. His birthday is Aug. 9.
After finishing the current homestand, the Crawdads are off on Wednesday and then go on the road for an extended stretch.
On Thursday, they start a four-game series in Lakewood, N.J., and they then play July 31-Aug. 2 at Hagerstown.
The next set of home games, starting Aug. 3, will be against Lexington (Ky.) followed by a series against Greensboro that begins on Aug. 7.
For Sunday’s boxscore, click on the link below.