Victor Payano turned in his most impressive effort of the year Tuesday night as the Hickory Crawdads blanked the Delmarva Shorebirds, 9-0, for their fourth shutout victory of the season at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. Payano (4-2), a
left hander, struck out a season-high 11 batters through seven scoreless frames and scattered three hits. Payano was in complete control as he struck out six consecutive batters between the first and third innings.
The 'Dads (25-25) gave Payano all the run support he needed as they plated a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. Zach Cone led off with a triple and was joined on the bases one out later when Chris Grayson was hit by a pitch. After Grayson stole second base, Kevin Torres perfectly placed an infield single up the middle that scored two runs and gave Hickory a 2-0 lead.
Cone homer in the third, and Hickory added two more runs in the top of the fourth. With two down, Jordan Akins kept the inning alive with a triple. Jhonny Gomez walked putting runners on the first and third. Akins and Gomez completed a double steal with Akins darting home from third and Gomez moving to second. Rougned Odor singled moving Gomez to third before Gomez sprinted home on an errant pick-off attempt by losing pitcher Matt Taylor (2-2), giving the Crawdads a commanding 5-0 lead.
Jeremy Williams had a run-scoring double in the fifth; and the Crawdads scored two more times in the seventh to take an 8-0 lead; Gomez had an RBI double in the seventh, and Akins scored on a wild pitch. Gomez, who knocked in two runs, had an RBI single in the ninth. The Crawdads pounded out 11 hits Torres drove in two runs; Cone had three hits, including a triple and a home run, and he scored three runs; Aikns had a triple and scored twice. Will Lamb closed things out with two perfect innings in relief with a pair of strikeouts.
Hickory goes for the series sweep against the Shorebirds in Delmarva on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Catch all the action live on Hickorycrawdads.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for Crawdads Countdown.....The 'Dads then return home for a four-game series against the West Virginia Power, kicking off this Thursday at 7 p.m. The FUN-filled series will feature Thirsty Thursday, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, Friday Fireworks will be presented by Galaxy, Texas Pete, and T-Shirt Giveaway presented courtesy of Duck Graphics for the first 1,000 fans with a paid admission on Saturday!
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.