The Hickory Crawdads won their 2012 Home Opener, 5-2, against the Asheville Tourists before 3,434 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium Thursday night. The Tourists (4-4) took an early lead against starting pitcher Victor Payano
in the top of the first inning. Delta Cleary, Jr. led off with a well-placed double to shallow right field. Cleary moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Humphries, and scored on Sam Mende's sacrifice fly.
Hickory tied things up in the bottom of the second on Zach Cone's solo home run over the left field wall.
The Crawdads grabbed a 2-1 lead in the third, thanks to a two-out rally. Luis Sardinas walked and promptly stole second base. He raced home with the go ahead run on Chris Grayson's RBI single. The Tourists tied things up in the fourth, thanks to a one out walk to David Kandilas, a pair of stolen bases and a wild pitch that scored Kandilas from third to make it 2-2.
Arlett Mavare (1-1), who got the win in releif, logged three scoreless innings and carried the Crawdads into the eighth inning. The 'Dads finally jumped on top for good in bottom of the eighth. Rougned Odor singled to start the frame, chasing losing pitcher Rafael Suarez (0-1). Jefri Hernandez came on in relief and threw a pair of wild pitches that moved the go ahead run to third with nobody out. Following a pair of strike outs, Jordan Akins slapped a run-scoring single through the right side of the infield to plate Odor for a 3-2 lead.
Drew Robinson followed with a single, putting runners at first and second for Trever Adams, who grounded an RBI infield single inside the first base line. Akins scored from second base on the play, and , drawing a poor throw home by first baseman Tyler Massey allowed Robinson to cross the plate for a 5-2 advantage.
Greg Williams (1), who picked up his first save, closed things out in the ninth.
All the Opening Weekend FUN continues on Friday, April 13 with Grand Opening Fireworks, presented by Crowne Plaza, Mister Tuxedo and The Big Dawg 92.1FM, and a 7 p.m. first pitch......Then, on Sat., April 14, it's Eric Church Bobblehead Giveaway for the first 1,000 fans with a paid admission, courtesy of Galaxy, Ragu and KICKS 103.3FM. First pitch will be 6 p.m. that Saturday, with gates opening at 5 p.m.
Individual Tickets for all Crawdads home games are available right now at Hickorycrawdads.com or by calling (828) 322-3000! Group outings, corporate partnerships, Levine Children's Hospital Claw Club memberships and Ticket Books for the 20th Anniversary Season are also available right now by calling the Front Office at (828) 322-3000.