The Hickory Crawdads fell to the Asheville Tourists, 9-4, before 2,832 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium on Friday night. Hickory (6-3) scored early against winning pitcher Daniel Winkler (1-1). Luis Sardinas led off with a base hit to right-center field and moved to second on a fielding error. Chris Grayson quickly brought in
Sardinas with an RBI double to left, making it 1-0. Grayson advanced to third on a ground out before he scored one out later on an RBI single by Hanser Alberto.
The Tourists (5-4) came charging back as they scored three times in the top of the second against losing pitcher Jerad Eickhoff (1-1). With runners on second and third after a single and a double to start the inning, Eickhoff battled back to strike out the next batter. A ground ball out by Ryan Casteel plated Jared Simon from third base, making it 2-1. With two outs, Rosell Herrera grounded a ball to short, but Sardinas committed a throwing error scoring Tyler Massey with the tying run. Delta Cleary, Jr. capped the frame with an RBI single, providing Asheville with a 3-2 lead.
Eickhoff and Winkler alternated scoreless frames through the third and fourth, but the Tourists broke the game open with four runs in the top of the fifth. With two outs and nobody on, David Kandilas singled. He scored on a single by Sam Mende that Grayson misplayed in right field for an error; Mende advanced all the way to third on the play. Harold Riggins drove in Mende in with a double, and he scored on Simon's two-run homer. The Crawdads got two of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth. Grayson led off the inning with a double and took third base on a wild pitch. Rougned Odor made it 7-3 on an RBI single to left-center field. Odor advanced all the way to third on a base hit by Zach Cone and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Alberto, cutting the deficit to 7-4.
Chris Hanna kept the 'Dads close by going 3 1/3 innings without giving up a run scoreless innings. But Asheville padded the lead in the top of the ninth against Phil Klein. Tyler Story led off with a solo home run, and Casteel singled to start the frame. Cateel moved to second on a single, took third on a fielder's choice and scored on a throwing error.
On Saturday, 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. with gates opening at 5 p.m......Don't miss Poster Schedule Giveaway to the first 1,000 fans with a paid admission on Sunday at 5 p.m., courtesy of True2Form, Hickory Printing and WNNC 1230AM! Also, all fans can participate in Post-Game Catch, presented by Countryside Pet Hospital, and a couple Crawdads might even join in! Before the game, Arms of Mercy Praise Band will perform from 4 - 4:30 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m......Then, on Monday, the Crawdads are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their very first home game by offering FREE Grandstand Tickets to all fans! It will also be 2-for-1 Senior Night, presented by Kingston Residence, with bingo! First Pitch is 6 p.m., gates open 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.