Tagged: Hickory Crawdads

The Boys of Summer are Gone

Hky_07_brent_lillibridge_2360_1The boys of summer are gone.  The Hickory Crawdads ended their 2006 season today in Hickory with a rained out game.  They guys were all ready to go home, so some of them will get an early start and others are leaving in the morning for about 10 days of R&R before reporting to the instructional camp in Florida.

The ‘Dads did hold an autograph session on the field after the game had been cancelled, so I got an opportunity to wish everyone luck in their future baseball careers. 

Note of Interest in Today’s News:

Former Hickory Crawdad Brent Lillibridge (pictured), who moved to High-A ball in Lynchburg back in July, has been taken on by the Altoona Curve AA club.  He, along with former Crawdads Kyle Bloom (LHP) and Yoann Torealba (RHP) begin their play with the Curve tonight at 6:05 against the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore).  Altoona begins playoffs on Wednesday against Akron (Cleveland).  A big congrats goes out to Brent and the gang 🙂

John M. Setzler, Jr.
(the guy with the camera)


99 and 100

Blogfordcorley100rbi_5882Tonight was a night I have been waiting for during the last few games in Hickory.

Brad Corley has been knocking on the 100 RBI door for a week or so now.  This is a rather amazing achievement for Brad, and it’s only the third time it’s been done in the Crawdads 13-year history in Hickory. 

In the bottom of the 4th inning of tonight’s game against the West Virginia Power, Cameron Blair led off the inning with a popup to West Virginia’s shortstop Ryan Barba for the first out of the inning.  Shelby Ford stepped up to the plate and singles on a grounder to WV 2nd baseman Michael Bell.  Corley steps up and homers off West Virginia’s Will Inman over the left field wall to score Shelby Ford (RBI 99) and he became his own 100th RBI. 

My congratulations go out to Brad and his parents, Mary and Blandon, who I know were listening tonight via the Crawdads webcast.  The above photo shows Shelby Ford (left) and Brad Corley in the dugout after the big hit of the night. 

The Crawdads beat the Power tonight by a score of 5-3.  Another note of interest is that Todd Redmond pitched 7 innings of scoreless baseball. 

My minor league baseball season here in Hickory ends tomorrow with a Noon Labor Day game against the West Virginia Power.  I have had a great year in photography with the Hickory Crawdads, and I’m really enjoying writing my briefs here on the Bucco Blog.  I’m not sure what I’ll be doing here during the off season.  I’ll talk to Jake and see if he has any ideas for me.  I may spend a little time gathering some information about players in Bradenton and Williamsport.  A good number of those guys will be here in Hickory next April, so it might pay to get to know some of them ahead of time.  I may do some player profiles of those guys here in the near future.

Tomorrow will be my last post of the season for the Hickory Crawdads, so thanks to all of you who are reading.  I would love to hear from you.  If you have a son playing for the Crawdads, please keep me up to date with news and information about where they are going and what they are doing so I can include it in my future writings here.  There are a few current Crawdads who may be back here next season, but I know a lot of them will not.  For those of you who I have met this season, it has been a pleasure.  I wish I could meet all of you 🙂


John M. Setzler, Jr.
(the guy with the camera)

2006 South Atlantic League All-Star Team

The ‘Dads won tonight against the Lexington Legends by a score of 7-5.  I shot a few photos but don’t have time to post them up tonight.  Brad Corley did pick up RBI #95 and #96 tonight.  I did receive the following information at the game tonight that I thought I would share:

2006 South Atlantic League All-Star Team:

Manager: Roberto Kelly – Augusta GreenJackets
Coach: Mike Lum – West Virginia Power
Pitcher – LH: Matt Maloney – Lakewood BlueClaws
Pitcher – RH: William Inman – West Virginia Power
Catcher (TIE): Angel Salome – West Virginia Power
Catcher (TIE): Carlos Carrasco – Lakewood BlueClaws
First Base: Ben Jones – Charleston RiverDogs
Second Base: Eugenio Velez – Augusta GreenJackets
Shortstop: Tommy Manzella – Lexington Legends
Third Base: Mat Gamel – West Virginia Power
Utility Infield: Eric Campbell – Rome Braves
Outfield: Lorenzo Cain – West Virginia Power
Outfield: Andrew McCutchen – Hickory Crawdads
Outfield: Cole Garner – Asheville Tourists
Utility Outfield: Dexter Fowler – Asheville Tourists
Designated Hitter: Brad Corley – Hickory Crawdads

Most Outstanding Pitcher: Matt Maloney – Lakewood BlueClaws
Most Valuable Player: Eugenio Velez – Augusta GreenJackets
Most Outstanding Major League Prospect: Andrew McCutchen – Hickory Crawdads

John M. Setzler, Jr.
(the guy with the camera)

Blair Means Business

Blair_1860The ‘Dads, as we lovingly say in the South, opened up a can of whoop-**** on the Lexington Legends tonight in Kentucky.  The final score was 14-4. 

Looking at the BOX, it seems that Cameron Blair (pictured on the left) had an outstanding night at the plate.  In 6 at bats, he had 3 hits that included one double and one triple, and 2 RBIs.  Interestingly enough, both of those RBIs were with two outs. 

Tony Mansolino picked up his 6th homer of the season as well. 

Go ‘Dads 🙂

John M. Setzler, Jr.
(the guy with the camera)

Brad Corley


On August 6th, 2006, Brad Corley launches a ball into the next county while his parents watch from behind home plate…

Born: 12/28/1983 – Lexington, KY
High School: Pleasure Ridge Park HS – Louisville, KY
Positions: Pitcher/Outfielder
4-Year Stats: .433 Batting Average, 35HR, 180 RBI, 22-2 Pitching, 0.81 ERA
2002 Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year
4-time Kentucky Player of the Year Honoree
2-Time East Coast Professional Showcase
2-Time member of the NABF National Team
2002 16th Round Draft by Colorado Rockies
2003 – Hit .321 as a freshman with Mississippi State University
2003 – Named to innaugural SEC Baseball Freshman Academic Honor Roll
2004 – Ranked 4th in SEC with .380 batting average
2005 – 2nd round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates
2006 – Hickory Crawdads Low-A Pirates Right Fielder

2006 Stats:

Games: 126
Batting Average: .284
At Bats: 504
Runs Scored: 79
Hits: 143
Doubles: 30
Triples: 2
Home Runs: 15
RBI: 91
Strikeouts: 100
Stolen Bases: 9
OBP: .324
SLG: .440
OPS: .765

I think Brad’s stats speak for themselves.  I can’t really add much here other than my opinion that he may be one of the biggest "sleepers" on the Crawdads roster.  I don’t think outfielders get the attention they deserve sometimes. 

Tonight’s Game Recap:

The ‘Dads bullpen took another shelling tonight in Lexington.  Mike Crotta gave up 5 in the third and 1 in the fourth.  He got relieved by Derek Antelo, who gave up 2 in the sixth and 2 more in the seventh inning.  Matt Swanson took the mound in the 8th and didn’t give up anything.  Only four shellfish managed to collect hits tonight against the Lexington pitchers.  Mike McCuistion went two for four at the plate with one run scored.  Eddie Prasch was one for two with two walks, a double, and a RBI.  Wanell Macia was one for four with a RBI.  Chris Jones went one for three with a walk. 

We suffered a 10-3 loss overall.  We had 3 runs, 5 hits, and no errors while Lexington finished with 10 runs, 17 hits, and one error for the night. 

I’m gonna have to talk to Brad Corley’s parents and make sure they aren’t feeding these guys too much cornbread and chicken while they’re hanging out at Brad’s house 😉

John M. Setzler, Jr.
(the guy with the camera)

‘Dads downed by Lexington

Eddie_prasch_4256Hickory Crawdads Eddie Prasch dives back to first base ahead of the pickoff attempt on May 28, 2006… Photo by John M. Setzler, Jr. (click the photo to see a larger copy)

I didn’t get to listen to the game online tonight, but I did browse the LOG and BOX when I got home.  Even though the ‘Dads lost by a score of 4-8 against the Lexington Legends, Hickory’s third-baseman, Eddie Prasch, picked up his 5th home run of the season in the bottom of the ninth inning.  This was a two run dinger tonight with two out in the bottom of the ninth with Steve Lerud on base. 

This doesn’t sound like a huge deal to most, but I recently witnessed Eddie’s first and second home runs as a professional baseball player.  Eddie was drafted by the Pirates in 2004.  After 509 trips to the plate, he managed to collect is first professional home run here in Hickory on Friday, July 21 against the Lakewood BlueClaws.  Big deal?  I think so.  However, Eddie didn’t think it was enough.  On his next trip to the plate, he picked up his second professional home run 🙂  Back to back dingers was a big deal and it was a huge monkey off his back as well. 

Congrats Eddie! 

Jeff Branson – The Man In Charge

The Hickory Crawdads start a five-game road trip tonight.  The first three games are in Lexington, KY against the Legends and the remaining two are in West Virginia against the Power. 

While I’m taking a break from baseball photography over the next six days (the sixth day is an off day for the ‘Dads), I thought I would write up a few profiles to give you some background insight into a few members of the Hickory Crawdads organization.

Jeff Branson – Manager

Jeffrey Glenn Branson was born on January 26, 1967, in Waynesboro, Mississippi.  Jeff attended college at the University of West Alabama.  On June 1, 1988, Jeff was drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Reds.  He made his major league debut with the Reds in 1992 and played there (infielder) until mid-season of 1997.  He was traded to the Cleveland Indians on July 31, 1997.  Jeff was granted free agency in October of 1998 and re-signed with the Reds in November of 1998.  After another season with the Reds, Branson signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he played until 2002.

In 2003, Jeff was hired by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a batting coach for the Williamsport Crosscutters (New York/Penn League).  In 2004, Jeff was named the Manager of the Crosscutters.  In 2005, Jeff moved to Hickory to manage the Hickory Crawdads.

Game Notes:

The ‘Dads managed to beat Lexington tonight by a score of 5-3.  Todd Redmond got the win (11-6 2.78ERA) and Justin Vaclavik gets the save (15).  Jason Delaney picked up his 9th home run and 68th RBI of the season with a 2-run swat off Lexington’s Garrett Murdy in the 6th inning. 

Check out the BOX and the LOG by clicking on the links.

Our next profile will be on Brad Corley (sometime in the next couple days).

John M. Setzler, Jr.
(the guy with the camera)