HICKORY, N.C. -- The Hickory Crawdads scored six unanswered runs in the fifth inning to rally from a four-run deficit and beat the Charleston RiverDogs, 8-7, in South Atlantic League action on Thursday night.
The RiverDogs (22-24, 53-62 overall) lost their fifth straight game. Hickory (26-18, 66-48) won its third in a row.
Up 3-2 in the fifth, Charleston had four straight two-out hits against starter Braden Tullis (6-0) to nab a 6-2 lead. J.R. Murphy reached on an infield single, Rob Lyerly hit a bloop double to move Murphy to third, then Emerson Landoni laced a two-run double, increasing the lead to 5-2. Neil Medchill followed with his second double to score Landoni and make it 6-2.
Not to be outdone, the Crawdads pieced together a five-run bottom half to take a 7-6 lead. Zach Zaneski's two-run double off Charleston's Sean Black began the scoring while Matt West's two-run home run -- his 11th of the year and the first allowed by Black since June 19 -- completed the inning.
Black (6-8) surrendered seven runs on seven hits in five innings, with two walks and two strikeouts.
Jared Bolden added a RBI single for the Crawdads in the seventh to make it 8-6.
The RiverDogs threatened in the ninth against closer Ovispo De Los Santos. DeAngelo Mack doubled and Murphy singled. A walk to Lyerly loaded the bases, but Landoni grounded into a double play. A run scored on the play to cut the lead to one, but Medchill struck out to end the game and give De Los Santos his third save.
Lyerly had his seventh home run of the season in the first inning.
Game 2 of the series is set for 7:05 p.m. today, with Charleston starting left-hander Josh Romanski (7-3, 3.25 ERA) against Hickory left-hander Miguel De Los Santos (1-0, 3.68).