The Hickory Crawdads topped the Greensboro Grasshoppers, 5-4, in a walk-off win before 2,035 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. The two teams are tied for first place in the Northern Division standings. Greensboro
(13-6) scored an unearned run in the top of the first frame against Santo Perez. Former Appalachian State player Rand Smith singled and promptly stole second base. He moved to third on a grounder by Aaron Senne, who reached on an error. One out later, Ryan McIntyre doubled and Smith scored for a 1-0 lead.
The Crawdads tied it up in the bottom of the first. Chris Grayson sparked the charge with a one-out single, followed quickly by a bunt single by Rougned Odor, putting runners at first and second. Trever Adams loaded the bases with a single before Hanser Alberto tied things up with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Grasshoppers regained the lead in the top of the second. With two on and one out, Rand Smith singled in James Wooster from third to give Greensboro a 2-1 lead. The Crawdads came right back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Alberto led off with a solo home run over the left field wall that tied the game at 2-2. Zach Cone walked and took second on a single by Jordan Akins. Joe Maloney then attempted a sacrifice bunt, but pitcher Dejai Oliver of the Grasshoppers foiled the play by picking up the bunt, and cutting down the runner at third. Maloney reached on a fielder's choice. After a strikeout, Luis Sardinas belted a two-run double to center field, plating Akins and Maloney for the 4-2 lead.
But the Crawdads couldn't protect the lead as Greensboro scored twice in the ninth and tied the game. Senne started the inning with a single and moved to third on a Matt Smith double. But Nick Martinez, who picked up the win in relief, struck out McIntyre. But a passed ball allowed McIntyre to reach first base and Senne scored from third. Terrence Dayleg tied it with an RBI fielder's choice to short that scored Smith.
But the Crawdads pulled it out with an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth. Grayson led off and reached on an error. With one out, Trever Adams singled Grayson to second base. Grayson then took off for third on a stolen base attempt. That drew an errant throw from catcher Tony Caldwell that bounced down the left field line allowing Grayson to score the winning run.
Thursday is Thirsty Thursday, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, with $1 can beers and Pepsis. Also, Thursday will be the NFL Draft Party - all fans wearing an NFL jersey get a Half Off Ticket! XerockX will perform on the concourse following the game as well. First Pitch is 7 p.m., gates open at 6 p.m......Catch a game with your best friend on Friday at 7 p.m. during Bark at the Park. All fans are welcome to bring their dogs to the game! It will also be Star Trek Night, with a Half Off Ticket for anyone wearing Star Trek gear. Gates open at 6 p.m......The 'Dads then welcome the Charleston RiverDogs to L.P. Frans this Saturday with a 6 p.m. First Pitch. It will be Magnet Schedule Giveaway, with the first 1,000 fans with a paid admission receiving a FREE magnet schedule, courtesy of the North Carolina Education Lottery. Saturday's game will also be Little League Night - wear your Little League uniform for a FREE ticket to the game, courtesy of Hickory Daily Record and the Morganton News Herald. There will be a pre-game Blood Drive with the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas from 3 - 6 p.m. - donate blood and receive a FREE ticket to the game! 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.