Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro led the Hickory Crawdads offense to a 7-5 victory over the Charleston RiverDogs in South Atlantic League play Thursday night at Riley Park in front of 5,947 fans.
The RiverDogs are now 42-34 on the season and 3-5 in the second half. They fell to fifth place in the Southern Division with the loss.
The Crawdads moved to 45-33 on the season and 6-2 in the second half. They are in first place of the Northern Division for the second half.
Before the RiverDogs could record the first out of the night, Hickory struck with the first run of the game. Nick Williams (3-4, 2 RBIs) led off the first inning with line drive single to left field and then scored on a Jorge Alfaro (2-3, HR, 5 RBIs) double to left-center.
Charleston answered with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame. With two outs, Greg Bird singled to left field, advanced to second on a Dante Bichette Jr. walk, and then scored on a Reymond Nunez line drive double down the left-field line. Bird’s single extended his personal and team best hitting streak to 11 games. Later in the inning, Jake Cave (2-4) extended the lead to 3-1 as he plated Bichette and Nunez with a single to center field.
The Crawdads answered with a run in the top of the third inning After reaching on an error, Luis Marte (2-3) went to third on a Williams single and then scored the second Hickory run on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Alfaro.
The RiverDogs extended their lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning. After reaching on an error, Aaron Gates scored on an Angelo Gumbs triple to center field.
Hickory came right back and tied the game in the top of the fifth inning. Lewis Brinson and Marte began the inning with back-to-back singles. Williams then blasted a ground-rule double to left-center field that scored Brinson and Marte and evened the score.
Crawdads starting pitcher Frank Lopez was relieved by Jose Valdespina (2-1) in the fifth inning. In four innings of work, Lopez surrendered four runs on five hits while walking three batters and recording three strikeouts.
The lead was short-lived, however. Following a Brinson walk and a Marte bunt single, Alfaro smashed his 11th home run of the season to give the Crawdads a late 7-5 advantage.
• Before the game, the RiverDogs honored The Post and Courier’s All-Lowcountry baseball and softball teams.
The second game of the four-game series against the Hickory Crawdads is Friday at 7:05 p.m. Lefty Daniel Camarena (0-3, 5.76 ERA) will be on the mound for Charleston and will face off against righty Andrew Faulkner (2-1, 3.00 ERA) for the Crawdads.
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