HICKORY, N.C. — The Lexington Legends picked up a road victory Wednesday afternoon but not without a struggle.
Closer Daniel Meszaros struck out Jake Kaase to end the game with the tying run at second, and Lexington held on for a 4-3 South Atlantic League win over the Hickory Crawdads. Hickory had rallied with two runs in the ninth to make it a one-run game.
The Legends never trailed.
First baseman Phil Disher led off the second inning with his first home run of the season. Lexington added another run in the fourth when Albert Cartwright doubled, advanced to third on a groundout by Federico Hernandez and came home on Brandon Barnes' sacrifice fly.
Hickory got on the board in the fourth when Mike Bianucci doubled, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt West.
The Legends made it 3-1 in the seventh. With two outs and the bases empty, Kyle Miller singled and went to second on a wild pickoff attempt. Kody Hinze singled to left, scoring Miller.
Ronnie Ramirez doubled to lead off the Lexington eighth and came around on two wild pitches to make it 4-1.
Henry Villar, who entered the game with two outs in the sixth in relief of starter Ross Seaton, pitched shutout ball into the ninth.
He retired the first two hitters in the final inning, but a throwing error by Miller allowed Leonel De Los Santos to reach second. Edward Martinez' single sent De Los Santos to third. Meszaros relieved, and with David Paisano batting, Martinez took second without a play.
Paisano then doubled to deep left center field, scoring De Los Santos and Martinez, but Paisano was left stranded when Meszaros fanned Kaase.
Seaton (2-1) got the win. He pitched 52⁄3 innings and allowed one run on four hits, lowering his ERA to 1.62. The losing pitcher was Hickory starter Martin Perez (0-2), who yielded only three hits. Meszaros earned his fifth save in as many opportunities.