By Zane Miller
In the 28-season long history of the Hickory Crawdads, the team has gone 3 for 4 in championship finals appearances, to go along with making 11 postseason appearances in total. As of this writing, Hickory’s best regular season record came in 2019 at 83-52, while their worst came in 1995 at 49-89. These are the top five single seasons by starting pitchers that I felt have stood out the most during the team history of the Hickory Crawdads.
In total, the team has won three championships, coming in 2002, 2004 and 2015.
5. Jeff Miller (2002)
The 444th overall pick of the 2001 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates went 13-5 during his time with the Crawdads in 2002, giving up 11 home runs, 43 earned runs and 100 hits over the course of 103 and a third innings to earn a 3.75 ERA. Hickory finished the year with an 83-56 record to reach the 2002 playoffs, where they swept the Delmarva Shorebirds two games to none in the first round, before taking down the Columbus RedStixx three games to two in the finals to win their first championship in franchise history.
4. Jerad Eickhoff (2012)
The 474th overall pick of the 2011 draft by the Texas Rangers picked up a 13-7 record with the Crawdads in 2011, as he allowed 22 home runs, 66 earned runs and 132 hits in 126 and two-thirds innings to take a 4.69 ERA. Hickory claimed a 74-65 record, despite not making the 2012 playoffs. Eickhoff would make his major league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015, playing in the MLB to the present day as of this writing.
3. Todd Redmond (2006)
The 1,162nd overall pick of the 2004 draft by the Pirates claimed a 13-6 showing with the Crawdads during the 2006 season, allowing 13 home runs, 49 earned runs and 137 hits in 160 and a third innings pitched to get a 2.75 ERA. Despite this, Hickory finished with a losing record at 67-70, missing the 2006 playoffs. Redmond would make his major league debut in 2012 with the Cincinnati Reds, playing in the MLB to the end of the 2015 season.
2. Joe Farley (1997)
The 407th overall pick of the 1996 draft by the Chicago White Sox reached a 14-6 record with the Crawdads in 1997, going 173 and two-thirds innings with 16 home runs, 83 earned runs and 190 hits allowed for a 4.30 ERA. Hickory grabbed a 76-64 record to qualify for the 1997 playoffs, falling to the Delmarva Shorebirds two games to none in the first round.
1. David Lundquist (1994)
The 145th overall pick of the 1993 draft by the White Sox claimed a 13-10 record during the 1994 season with the Crawdads, as he pitched 178 and two-thirds innings while allowing 15 home runs, 69 earned runs and 170 hits to take a 3.48 ERA. Hickory dominated with a 86-54 record to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 1994, before losing to the Hagerstown Suns two games to none in the first round. Lundquist would make his major league debut in 1999 with the White Sox, playing in the MLB to the end of the 2002 season.
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