The Express and RedHawks were rained out on Wednesday. They'll play a doubleheader on Thursday.
The RoughRiders enjoyed a scheduled day off on Wednesday, as they traveled to Corpus Christi.
L - Payano (1-1)
Left-hander Victor Payano was dominant in the losing effort, permitting just a run on two hits over five innings of work. Payano struck out nine batters and didn't issue a walk.
Payano suffered the loss after the Pelicans' offense was shut out and held to only three hits. The knocks were doubles from Chris Grayson (1/3, 2B, BB) and a single off the bat of catcher Kellin Deglan (1/3, 2B). Shortstop Luis Sardinas reached on a single and a walk in four trips. He also stole his first base of the year.
After Payano exited the game, sinkerballing righty Randol Rojas worked two scoreless innings. Will Lamb gave up a solo home run in his frame, and Joe Van Meter tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to end the contest.
W - Claudio (1-1)
HR - Gallo (5, 6), Akins (2)
The Crawdads earned the extra-innings victory on Wednesday, plating single runs in the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings.
Hickory got two big round-trippers from first baseman Joey Gallo, who was 2-for-3 with two solo home runs and two walks. Gallo, who scored four runs, socked a homer in the first and one in the 10th.
Right fielder Jordan Akins also flashed some pop, going 2-for-4 with a double and a solo round-tripper.
Ryan Rua (2/3, 2 2B) doubled twice and was hit by two pitches. First baseman Jorge Alfaro had a double in five at-bats, driving home two runs.
Hickory won the game despite getting a rocky start from left-hander Sam Stafford, who lasted just 2.2 innings. Throwing 31 of his 61 pitches for strikes, Stafford gave up just one run but permitted three hits and walked five.
Righty Tyler Smith followed by allowing four runs––three earned––in 3.1 innings, and then sidearming southpaw Alexander Claudio slammed the door.
A Puerto Rico native, Claudio hurled four innings of one-hit shutout ball, fanning five. He threw 33 of his 49 pitches for strikes.
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