The Hickory Crawdads, 1st-Half Northern Division Champions, beat the Delmarva Shorebirds, 5-2, before 888 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium on Tuesday night. The game was delayed 49 minutes before the first pitch due to inclement weather.
The 'Dads (48-33, 8-5) jumped in front with a quick run in the bottom of the first against losing pitcher Luis Noel (5-9). Jurickson Profar led off with a single and was followed by walks to Odubel Herrera and Andrew Clark, loading the bases with nobody out. After a foul out put the first out on the board, Profar scored on a balk call against Noel putting the 'Dads in front, 1-0.
Delmarva (40-43, 5-8) had a quick response, plating an unearned run against Luke Jackson and in the top of the second. Michael Ohlman started the inning by reaching on an error; he eventually moved to third on a wild pitch and a throwing error. Garabez Rosa grounded out to third, but it allowed Ohlman to race in with the tying run.
Hickory regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Jake Skole sparked the offense with a lead-off double and moved to third by tagging up on a fly ball out by Yefry Castillo. Skole came in to score on an RBI ground ball out by Jonathan Roof, which gave Hickory a 2-1 lead.
However, Delmarva tied things up in the top of the fifth against winning pitcher Ben Rowen (1-2). Mike Flacco led off with a single, moved to second base on a ground out, and scored on an RBI single by Adam Gaylord tying the score at 2-2.
Rowen dug in through his subsequent two innings of work keeping Delmarva from moving in front while the Crawdads got the bats going again. Hickory finally took the lead for good with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Skole belted his second double of the game, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position with one out. Castillo plated Skole on a deep fly ball to center field. Brenden Webb ran it down, but crashed into the wall; he was shaken up on the play and that allowed Skole to score all the way from second base for a 3-2 lead.
Hickory added some insurance with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Deglan singled and Alejandro Selen doubled, putting runners at second and third. Skole and Castillo followed with consecutive singles that plated Deglan and Selen for a 5-2 lead.
Ryan Rodebaugh slammed the door with a scoreless ninth earning his 14th save.
NOTES: The Crawdads take on the Shorebirds on Wednesday night at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. It will be the Salute to the Mustache - all fans with a mustache will get a Half Off Ticket to the game! Also, it is Guaranteed WINsday, and if the 'Dads don't win all fans will get a FREE ticket to a future game. Mention the Conrad's Self-Esteem Wednesday promotion for a Half Off Ticket to the game, with $2 from each Conrad's Self-Esteem ticket going to Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare. Also, Wednesday features the Unemployment Night Ticket Special. All fans that bring an NCESC-issued debit card or printed online statement can get four FREE tickets to the game.