The Hickory Crawdads never trailed on Wednesday night en route to a 5-3 victory against the Greenville Drive before 4,790 fans at Fluor Field in Greenville. The 'Dads have won both of their first two series to start
the 2012 season. The Crawdads (5-2) capitalized on three Greenville errors in the top of the first to take an early 3-0 lead. Chris Grayson doubled to start the inning, and scored the first run by stealing third and inducing a throwing error by catcher Blake Swihart, enabling him to score on the play. Two outs later, Zach Cone tripled and came in on a fielding error by first baseman Boss Moanaroa, which also allowed Kevin Torres to reach base safely. Jorge Alfaro then drove a deep fly ball to center field, which was dropped by Henry Ramos. Torres scored all the way from first base on the play and the Crawdads led, 3-0.
Hickory starter Luke Jackson struck out four through his first two scoreless innings, but walked the bases loaded to start the bottom of the third. David Renfroe dribbled a grounder down the first base line, which Jackson couldn't field cleanly, enabling everyone to reach safely and a run to score, making it 3-1. After the Drive (4-3) tallied again in the bottom of the fourth, Hickory stretched the lead back out in the top of the fifth. Grayson led off with a triple and came in quickly on an RBI single by Hanser Alberto one out later, making it 4-2.
Nick McBride (1-0), who got the win in relief, took over to start the fifth and dealt three scoreless innings, before the Drive plated an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth. McBride finished with four innings of work, allowing just the one unearned run on one hit with four strikeouts. The Crawdads padded the lead in the top of the ninth. Jeremy Williams was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and raced to third on a double by Trever Adams before coming home on a wild pitch to make it 5-3.
Nick Martinez finished up in the bottom of the ninth and picked up his first save.
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.