Series Preview: Hickory Crawdads at Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies April 18-20
Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (10-2, 2nd Northern Division)
Columbia Fireflies (New York Mets) (6-7, 4th Southern Divisioin)
The Hickory Crawdads take a quick roadtrip to Segra Park for a three-game series against the Fireflies
IF YOU PLAN TO GO:
WHERE IS IT?: From Hickory, take Hwy 321 South to Gastonia, then I-85 North towards Charlotte. Take exit 30 to the I-485 outer loop, then I-77 South toward Columbia. Take I-77 to 277 South to Columbia. Take the Farrow Road/SC-555 exit. Turn left onto Farrow Road/SC-555. Continue onto Colonial Drive. Turn left onto Gregg Street. Turn right onto Freed Street. The ballpark is located on the left side of the street.
GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:
Thursday: 7:05 p.m. (Copa de la Diversion, Thirsty Thursday)
Friday: 7:05 p.m. (Copa de la Diversion, Chicharrones Piggy Bank Giveaway to first 1,500 fans)
Saturday: 6:05 p.m. (Copa de la Diversion, ZOOperstars Appearance, Post-game Fireworks)
TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section.
PARKING: All parking is $3.
RECENT SERIES HISTORY:
The Crawdads have had decent success against the Fireflies since their move from Savannah (Ga.) after the 2015 season. Over the three seasons since the Fireflies relocation to Columbia, the Crawdads are 15-9 overall, 8-3 in Columbia. Last year, Hickory held a 4-3 edge in the season series with a split in the four-game series in South Carolina.
PROBABLES (Hickory/ Columbia)
Thursday: RHP Ronny Henriquez vs. RHP Christian James
Friday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. RHP Dedniel Nunez
Saturday: LHP John King vs. RHP Woods Richardson
The Crawdads polished off a 4-2 homestand with a win on Wednesday morning over Asheville. Hickory took 2 of 3 in that series. They’ll take to the road for the second time this season after posting a 6-1 mark during the season-opening trip to Lakewood (N.J.) and Greensboro.
Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)
Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):
RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 83 in top-100)
SS Chris Seise No. 12
IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18
C Sam Huff No. 21
3B Sherten Apostel No. 22
RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 30
Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley or Sam Huff; 1B Curtis Terry; 2B Frainyer Chavez or Jonathan Ornelas; 3B Sherten Apostel; SS Chris Seise; LF: Miguel Aparicio; CF: Pedro Gonzalez; RF: Jose Almonte.
Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 5th homers (3)
Sam Huff – Tied for 1st homers (4), tied for 4th total bases, 5th slugging pct. (.583), tied for 8th strikeouts
Chris Seise – Tied for 6th steals (5)
Curtis Terry – 1st RBI (19), tied for 1st homers (4), tied for 1st total bases, 2nd slugging pct. (.688), tied for 3rd doubles (6), 4th OPS (1.040), tied for 4th hits,
Matt Whatley – Tied for 10th walks
Tim Brennan – 5th WHIP (0.55)
Hans Crouse – 2nd WHIP (0.35), tied for 9th strikeouts (19)
Abdiel Mendoza – Tied for 3rd saves (2)
Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.238 (4th)/ .299 (10th)/ .422 (2nd)/ .721 (2nd).
Other key rankings: 1st home runs, 2nd runs, 2nd total bases, 2nd fewest caught stealing, 3rd stolen bases, 3rd doubles, T-4th hits, tied for 12th walks
Team Pitching: 1st ERA (1.92), 1st WHIP (0.90), fewest hits allowed, fewest runs allowed, fewest earned runs allowed, 3rd fewest home runs allowed (2), fewest walks allowed, 4th strikeouts.
The Fireflies won three of their last four games to cap a seven-game roadtrip to Lexington (Ky.) and Rome (Ga.). Columbia was 3-3 during its first homestand to open the season.
Manager: Pedro Lopez (2nd season)
Prospects – Columbia (rankings by MLB.com):
SS Ronny Mauricio No. 3
3B Mark Vientos No. 4
RHP Woods Richardson No. 7
RHP Christian James No. 26
Possible Lineups: C: Juan Uriarte or Hayden Senger; 1B Brian Sharpe; 2B Chandler Avant or Walter Rasquin; 3B: Mark Vientos; SS: Ronny Mauricio; LF: Brad Marquez or Wagner Lagrange; CF: Anthony Dirocie; RF: Jose Miguel Medina.
Ronny Mauricio – Tied for 1st hits, 5th batting avg. (.346)
Jose Butto – Tied for 3rd hits allowed, tied for 7th runs allowed,
Jaiso Vilera – Tied for 5th earned runs allowed, tied for 6th hits allowed, tied for 9th runs allowed, tied for 9th walks
Ezequiel Zabaleta – 1st games pitched (7), tied for 1st saves (3)
Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.229 (7th)/ .295 (12th)/ .319 (10th)/ .614 (11th).
Other key rankings: 3rd fewest strikeouts, 11th home runs, 11th walks, tied for 11th doubles, 13th runs scored, last steals (3).
Team pitching: 3rd hits allowed, 3rd fewest walks allowed, 3rd fewest strikeouts, 4th earned runs allowed, 8th WHIP (1.27), 11th ERA (4.22)
NOTES OF INTEREST: Crawdads CF JP Martinez (Rangers No. 2 prospect) was promoted to High-A Down East on Wednesday… RHP Ronny Henriquez will make his stateside debut on Thursday. In 11 starts in the Dominican Summer League last season, the 18-year-old struck out 79 and walked 8 over 58 innings with a 1.55 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP. He skipped two levels to join Hickory…Columbia is second in the SAL in fielding pct.