The Hickory Crawdads topped the Greensboro Grasshoppers, 7-2, before 5,388 fans at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro on Friday evening.
The Crawdads (19-8) jumped out to an early lead right away against losing pitcher Kyle Winters, plating a pair in the top of the first inning. Jurickson Profar led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch. Jake Skole drove in Profar with a double to left field, before scoring later in the frame on a wild pitch, putting the 'Dads up, 2-0.
Winning pitcher Randol Rojas kept the Grasshoppers (14-13) off the board through the first two frames, but Greensboro managed to cut into the 'Dads lead with a tally in the third. With runners on the corners and two down, Christian Yelich grounded into a run-scoring fielder's choice, making it 2-1.
The Crawdads, though, responded right away in the top of the fourth. Andrew Clark got himself on with a one-out walk, and promptly trotted home on a two-run bomb by RF Josh Richmond over the left-center field wall, stretching the Hickory lead to 4-1.
Greensboro started chipping away again, pushing one run across against Rojas in the fifth. With Danny Black at third and one away, Ryan Fisher drove a sacrifice fly to right field, plating Fisher and cutting the Crawdads advantage to 4-2.
Hickory again had an answer, striking for three more runs in the top of the eighth to take their largest lead of the game. A two-run homer by Tomas Telis combined with an RBI single by Richmond to put the 'Dads into the 7-2 advantage.
Colby Killian dealt two scoreless frames in seventh and eighth, before LHP Kevin Johnson escaped a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to close the 7-2 win for Hickory.
NOTES: The Crawdads take on the Grasshoppers in Greensboro on Saturday at 7 p.m. Hickory will return home to start a seven-game homestand on Friday, May 13 against the Augusta GreenJackets at 7 p.m. It will be Friday the 13th and Halloween Night, with all fans wearing a Halloween costume receiving a FREE ticket to the game! Also, don't miss Breakin' BBoy McCoy entertain fans of all ages during the game!