The Hickory Crawdads opened the season with a 5-1 win against the Kannapolis Intimidators, before 3,197 fans at CMC-NorthEast Stadium in Kannapolis Friday night. Zach Cone put the Crawdads (1-0) in front with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. However, Kannapolis (0-1) came right back with to tie
the game thanks to an RBI double by Mark Haddow in the bottom of the second. Hickory starter Luke Jackson (W, 1-0) responded to Haddow's double by striking out the next four Kannapolis batters in a row. Jackson finished with only the one run allowed on three hits while striking out eight through five innings to earn the win.
The Crawdads regained the lead with three runs in the top of the fifth. Jordan Akins led off with a single and moved to second when Luis Sardinas worked a walk, chasing Kannapolis pitcher Blair Walters (L, 0-1). After Steven Upchurch, who came on in relief, retired the next batter, both runners advanced to second and third on a double steal. Rougned Odor plated the pair with a two-run double to right field, putting Hickory in front, 3-1. Odor took third on a passed ball and charged in on an RBI grounder by Trever Adams, giving Hickory a 4-1 lead.
Hickory tacked on the final run in the top of the sixth. Cone and Jeremy Williams drew consecutive walks to start the frame. Kellin Deglan advanced Cone to third with a fly ball to right-center field, before Cone raced home on a run-scoring fielder's choice by Akins, making it 5-1. Randol Rojas tossed three scoreless innings of relief for Hickory, followed by a scoreless bottom of the ninth worked by RHP Phil Klein to close out the game.
The Crawdads take on Kannapolis for a doubleheader on the road on Sat. with the first of two seven-inning games starting at 6:05 p.m. Catch all the action live on The Big Dawg 92.1FM and Hickorycrawdas.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for Crawdads Countdown! Don't miss the 'Dads FREE Open House this Sat. from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at L.P. Frans Stadium, with Easter FUN, an Easter Egg Hunt on the field, ticket deals, a chance to meet players and more! The Crawdads 2012 Home Opener is coming up on Thurs., April 12 vs. the Asheville Tourists at 7 p.m. Don't miss Thirsty Thursday, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, featuring $1 can beers and Pepsis, as well as the Sneak Peek Night promotion. Gates open at 6 p.m. 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.
Photo Courtesy: Luke Jackson, Hickory Crawdads