Hickory starting pitcher Cody Buckel struck out 10 and only allowed one hit in 5 1/3 iinnings of work, but let him down as the Greenville Drive rallied for a 3-2 win before 5,622 fans at Fluor Field in Greenville on Friday.
The Crawdads (45-32, 5-4) didn't waste any time as they scored in the top of the first. With one out, Odubel Herrera was hit by a pitch and promptly stole second base. Herrera advanced to third on a single by Tomas Telis, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Clark, giving the 'Dads the early 1-0 lead.
The Drive (44-35, 6-3) finally came to lfe offensively after Buckel left the game in the bottom of the sixth. And they staged their comeback against losing pitcher Nick McBride (0-1).
McBride retired the first batter he faced for the second out in the inning, but a walk to Sean Coyle ignited the rally. Brandon Jacobs singled Coyle to third, and then swiped second base, putting both runners in scoring position. Drew Hedman belted a two-run double, making it 2-1; Michael Almanzar followed with an RBI single, giving the Drive a 3-1 advantage.
The 'Dads attempted another ninth-inning comeback, but came up shor. Christian Villanueva homered against Dennis Neuman, who picked up his third save, making it a one-run game. However, Neuman navigated through the remainder of the frame, despite giving up a walk, capping off the 3-2 win. Justin Erasmus (2-0) threw two scoreless innings in relief and picked up his second win of the season for the Drive.
NOTES: The Crawdads continue the series in Greenville on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Be sure to order your tickets early for the Crawdads next home game - the 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza on Monday, July 4 at 7 p.m. Don't miss out on the best 4th of July celebration in the area, presented by KICKS 103.3FM! All tickets are just $10 and going quickly!