The Hickory Crawdads swept both games of Saturday's doubleheader against the Kannapolis Intimidators -- 8-0 in Game 1 and 4-2 in Game 2 -- before 2,260 fans at CMC-NorthEast Stadium in Kannapolis. In game one, the Crawdads (2-0) jumped in front with a five-run frame in the top of the second against
losing pitcher Daniel Webb (0-1) and Kannapolis (0-2). Three consecutive singles by Zach Cone, Kevin Torres and Jorge Alfaro loaded the bases with nobody out. Jeremy Williams quickly unloaded the bases with a two-run double to right field, scoring Cone and Torres. Drew Robinson followed with a grounder to first base that got by Leighton Pangilinan and allowed Alfaro and Williams to score, making it 4-0. Later in the inning, Robinson charged home from third on an RBI ground-ball out by Luis Sardinas, that gave the Crawdads a commanding 5-0 lead.
The 'Dads tacked on two more in the top of the third with an RBI ground out by Alfaro and an RBI double by Robinson. Hickory tacked on the final tally on an error in the sixth for the 8-0 lead. Crawdads starter Victor Payano (1-0) kept the Intimidators off the board through his five scoreless frames, before Nick Martinez slammed the door with two shutout innings to complete the 8-0 blanking of Kannapolis.
In game two, Hickory starter Jerad Eickhoff (1-0) baffled the Intimidators with 4 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball to start the second game of the doubleheader. Eickhoff finished with five frames of work, one hit allowed and seven strikeouts, earning the victory in his first professional start. After four scoreless innings from Kannapolis Steve McCray, Hickory (3-0) struck in the top of the fifth against losing pitcher Stew Brase (0-1). Kellin Deglan led off with a double and quickly came in on an RBI double from Hanser Alberto, opening the scoring. Alberto cruised home on an RBI single from Luis Sardinas, who took second on the throw home. Sardinas moved to third on a wild pitch and later came home on an RBI single by Zach Cone. Rougned Odor, who had walked earlier in the frame, scored the fourth run on an RBI fielder's choice by Trever Adams, putting the 'Dads up, 4-0.
Nick McBride took over for Eickhoff and dealt a 1-2-3 sixth inning, but Kannapolis threatened in the seventh. Joe De Pinto worked a lead off walk against McBride and moved to second on a single from Kevan Smith. After a strikeout, Rangel Ravelo had a base hit to load the bases. De Pinto was able to streak home on a wild pitch, and then Smith scored on a ground out, but McBride slammed the door by striking out Keenyn Walker to end the game and to complete the doubleheader sweep.
The Crawdads conclude the four-game set in Kannapolis on Sunday at 3:05 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 and 1290 WHKY, 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: Jerad Eickhoff, Hicikory Crawdads