The Lexington Legends erupted for six runs in the top of the ninth inning, four coming on a grand slam by Angelo Castellano, on their way to a 9-3 win over the Hickory Crawdads in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday in Hickory.
In the opener, Andretty Cordero’s two-run homer in the sixth inning broke a 1-1 tie, and Hickory went on to a 3-1 win.
South Atlantic League games are a regulation seven innings in length.
Gabriel Cancel’s fourth-inning home run in game one gave the Legends a 1-0 lead, but the Crawdads tied it in the fifth when Charles LeBlanc singled, moved to second on a walk to Tanner Gardner and scored on a base hit by Eric Jenkins.
In the sixth inning, Leody Taveras drew a leadoff walk before Cordero hit his third home run of the year, giving Hickory its final margin.
Dario Beltre (1-0), who entered the game at the start of the fifth inning, pitched two and two-thirds scoreless innings and got the win. C.D. Pelham picked up his seventh save.
Legends reliever Vance Tatum (3-3), who also entered in the fifth, was the losing pitcher.
In the second game, Hickory took the early lead with two runs in the second inning, but the Legends evened the score in the fourth. Emmanuel Rivera led off with a single and moved to second as Yeison Melo reached first on an error by shortstop Brendon Davis. Cancel was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. John Brontsema’s infield out scored one run, and another came home on a passed ball.
The Legends took a 3-2 lead with a run in the top of the seventh. Manny Olloque led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Hutchins and scored on a single by Marten Gasparini.
Hickory tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. With one out Anderson Tejeda walked, advanced to third on a single by Cordero and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Alex Kowalczyk, sending the game to extra innings.
The score was still 3-3 when Cancel started the top of the ninth with a single. Brontsema walked, and Olloque singled, scoring Cancel. Hutchins struck out, but Brontsema scored when Cordero, the first baseman, committed an error on a ball hit by Gasparini. Olloque went to third and Gasparini reached second on the play. After Jairo Beras relieved Kaleb Fontenot for Hickory, Vance Vizcaino walked, loading the bases, and Castellano followed with a grand slam, his seventh home run of the year. It was the Legends sixth grand slam of 2017, tops in the South Atlantic League.
Legends reliever Matt Wynne(3-2), who pitched the last three innings, got the win. Hickory reliever Kaleb Fontenot (5-3) took the loss.
The Legends have won two out of three in the series, which concludes Sunday. Game time is five p-m.