Wilmington Blue Rocks Split Series With Hickory Crawdads

Omar Meregildo stretching to make the catch. Meregildo struck out three times in the last game of the series. Wednesday, April 20, 2022. - Staff Photographer / Ashley Craven

After back-to-back nights of excitement for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the excitement ran dry in their series finale against the Hickory Crawdads on Sunday afternoon. 

In the last game of the six-game homestand, the Blue Rocks were unable to get anything going as they fell to the Crawdads 1-0. 

While Wilmington would not put one run on the board throughout the entirety of the day, that doesn’t mean there weren’t opportunities. Much like Thursday night’s loss to Hickory, in the bottom of the second the Blue Rocks had the bases loaded but still left the inning scoreless. 

“I think we had a couple opportunities in the first few innings,” Blue Rocks Manager Marion Lisson said. “But we let that guy off the hook.”

The guy in reference was Hickory’s starting pitcher Tekoah Roby, who got the win despite giving up three hits and two walks that the Blue Rocks didn’t capitalize on.

This hurt even more so due to the fact the Blue Rocks pitching staff didn’t have a bad outing. As a whole, the five pitchers who saw time on the mound gave up only three hits, five walks, and one earned run. 

“I mean one run, three hits. That first run, that only run was a leadoff walk,” Lisson said. “We got to make sure we don’t give free bases because they always somehow find a way to score and today that was our one mistake.”

That one mistake was the reason why the Blue Rocks ended up splitting this series instead of finishing the week on top. While this series with the Crawdads had positive moments, it also highlighted some points that the team has to work on, such as cleaning up defensive errors and getting on the board with runners in scoring position. 

“Right now we’re kind of in-between,” Lisson said. “We have a good game or not, or we have solid at-bats and we’re not getting much out of it.”

When it comes to bringing in runners, Lisson knows what his team has to do in order to fix the problem.

“Just make sure we stay on the fastball,” Lisson said. “Stay on the fastball and make sure we stay on the strikes and things will take care of themselves.”

Wilmington now hits the road for their first series with their division rivals, the Hudson Valley Renegades. By the time they get there, Lisson says there will be changes within the lineup, especially since Blue Rocks outfielder, Cody Wilson, left Saturday night’s game with an injury. 

“There’s going to be moves to be made,” Lisson said. “Right now we’re taking care of today and we’ll find out later on, probably Tuesday.”

The Blue Rocks and the Renegades will start facing off on Tuesday, April 26 with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. 

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