Game 1 against Lexington (Ky.) Legends is Monday at 7 p.m.
HICKORY – The Hickory Crawdads will play for the South Atlantic League (SAL) Championship this week, opening a best-of-5 baseball series against Lexington (Ky.) on Monday at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Game 1 starts at 7 p.m. and Game 2 on Tuesday is also at 7 p.m. The third game is Thursday in Lexington (Ky.) and, if needed the final two games of the title series are Friday and Saturday in Lexington.
Fans who donate items for the hurricane relief get in free on Monday.
Hickory (85-52) swept Delmarva (Md.) in two games to reach the championship series while Lexington (70-70) swept Augusta (Ga.) in two games to advance.
Hickory won the second-half Northern Division title to get into the postseason and Lexington got in after winning the first-half Southern Division championship.
Crawdads 1, Shorebirds 0, 10 inn. (Friday)
Abdiel Mendoza took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing a walk and single with one out and reliever Hever Bueno got out of that jam by enticing a double play ball for the Crawdads.
Bueno pitched 2 2/3 innings.
The Crawdads scored in the 10thg inning when Kole Enright drew a leadoff walk and advanced as Matt Whatley was hit by a pitch. Frainyer Chavez drew a walk to load the bases before Jax Biggers laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored Enright.
Reliever Kelvin Gonzalez struck out the first batter in the bottom of the 10th inning before a single and hit batter had two runners on base for Delmarva.
The game ended on a double play.
Crawdads 4, Shorebirds 3 (Wednesday)
Hickory erased an early 2-0 deficit at L.P. Frans Stadium and won the opening game of the Northern Division series.
The Crawdads touched Grayson Rodriquez for three first-inning runs to gain the lead – Biggers and Josh Junge had back-to-back doubles and Miguel Aparicio had a double down the line in left to score two runs.
Hickory starter Ricky Vanasco worked six innings and gave up two runs, seven hits, walked two and struck out seven.
Tyreque Reed hit a solo home run to center field in the sixth inning for the Crawdads.
Reliever Nick Snyder pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Hickory but gave up a run in the eighth inning.
Kelvin Gonzalez protected the Crawdads’ lead in the ninth inning, getting two strikeouts and a ground ball out to finish the game.
SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
LEXINGTON (Ky.) LEGENDS (70-70) vs. HICKORY CRAWDADS (85-52)
Monday: Lexington at Hickory, 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Lexington at Hickory, 7 p.m.
Thursday: Hickory at Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, if needed: Hickory at Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, if needed: Hickory at Lexington, 1:05 p.m.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Hickory 4, Delmarva 3 at Hickory
Hickory 1, Delmarva 0, 10 inn., at Delmarva
Lexington (Ky.) 2, Augusta (Ga. 1)
Lexington (Ky.) 4, Augusta (Ga. 2)