CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Power was one out away from recording perhaps its biggest win of the season to date on Monday.
However, in an instant, everything changed.
With the Power leading 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Hickory center fielder Lewis Brinson hit a line drive, two-run home run that gave the Crawdads the lead. The home run proved to be the difference as the Crawdads escaped with a 5-3 victory over the Power at Appalachian Power Park.
"It was a big home run to put us in the lead late in the game against a team we are trying to catch to go the playoffs," Brinson said. "It felt good. We are just trying to end this season off right."
The Power and Crawdads are vying for a postseason spot.
The loss drops West Virginia to 35-21 in the second half of the South Atlantic League season and 72-54 overall, while Hickory improves to 32-25 and 71-56.
West Virginia saw its lead over the Crawdads drop to 11/ 2 games in the Northern Division playoff race, and by virtue of Monday's win, Hickory holds the tiebreaker over the Power should the teams end up with the same overall record at the end of the season.
The Power trails first-place Hagerstown by a half game for the second half championship, but the Suns have already claimed the first half title.
If Hagerstown holds on to claim the first and second half championships, the Wild Card playoff berth goes to the team with the next best overall record. That scenario should come down the Power and Crawdads.
"Big deal," Power Manager Michael Ryan said. "It's just like the series didn't happen. Two and two. We are in the situation we were four days ago. What makes us so good is the way we respond the next day."