HICKORY – Andretty Cordero’s first hit with the Hickory Crawdads sparked them to a victory on Saturday night in South Atlantic League (SAL) baseball at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Cordero — playing in his third game with Hickory after coming from Short Season A-ball in Spokane, Wash. — hit a grand slam in a five-run inning of a 7-3 victory over Greenville (S.C).
Cordero, playing first base and batting seventh in the batting order on Saturday, is 1-for-12 since joining the Crawdads. He was signed by the Texas Rangers as an international free agent in early August of 2013.
Saturday night’s victory also featured a two-run home run in the sixth inning by Blaine Prescott, one of his three hits, to push the Crawdads’ led to 7-2.
The second game of the Hickory-Greenville series is at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Frans, and they also play games on Monday and Tuesday night, both at 7 p.m.
After the Crawdads’ big hitting early, reliever Sal Mendez (5-6) pitched well. He picked up a victory after throwing five innings, giving up seven hits, three runs (all earned) with one walk and six strikeouts. He replaced Hickory starter Demarcus Evans, who worked four innings.
In the Hickory third inning, Prescott had a single and scored after two outs on a hit by Alex Kowalczyk for a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Cordero’s grand slam made it 5-0.
The Drive pulled within 5-2 in the sixth inning when Lorenzo Cedrova hit a solo home run, his sixth, and Rolandi Baldwin hit a solo shot with two outs (his 12th of the year).
Franklin Rollin singled in the sixth inning before Prescott hit a two-run home run, his eighth of the season.
Jay Groome (1-3), the Driver starter, took the loss. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up four hits, five runs (all earned) and walking four and striking out four.
Hickory improved to 42-57 overall and 15-14 in the second half and is tied for second place in the Northern Division with Hagerstown (Md.) after Augusta (Ga.) beat the Suns 8-3 on Saturday.
Delmarva (Md.) leads the division at 16-12 after winning 8-4 over Rome on Saturday.
Greenville (55-42, 14-14) is in fourth place in the Southern Division, five games back of Charleston, S.C.
For Saturday’s boxscore, click on the link below.