The Greenville Drive topped the Hickory Crawdads 7-2 at Fluor Field in Greenville on Friday night. The Crawdads loss, combined with the Hagerstown Suns 4-3 win against the Asheville Tourists, knocks the 'Dads out of 2012
playoff contention. The Drive (64-72, 30-36) took the lead with three runs scored on four straight hits in the bottom of third inning against Andrew Faulkner (L, 5-5). With one down, Nick Natoli singled and advanced to second on a base hit from RF Drew Turocy. Both runners scored on an RBI double to left-center field from 3B Garin Cecchini. Cecchini then stole third base and came in on an RBI single from C Blake Swihart to put Greenville ahead, 3-0.
The Drive added two more tallies in the bottom of the fifth inning. Natoli singled for the second time, and then a walk to Turocy bumped Natoli to second. After Cecchini was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Swihart grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Natoli and recorded no outs, keeping the bases full. Henry Ramos followed with an RBI grounder, plating Turocy and stretching the lead to 5-0.
After Greenville added a sixth run against Victor Payano in the bottom of the sixth, the Crawdads (37-30, 73-63) got on the board in the top of the eighth inning. Drew Robinson started the frame by sending a towering solo shot over the left field wall, getting the 'Dads on the scoreboard, 6-1.
The Drive stretched it back out with an RBI double by Natoli in the bottom of the eighth, but Hickory refused to go down quietly. Leading off the top of the ninth inning, DH Alejandro Selen powered a solo home run over the right field fence, cutting the deficit back down to five runs. Jorge Alfaro followed with a free pass, but then Kevin Brahney struck out the side to close the 7-2 win for Greenville. Drive Henry Ramos (W, 12-5) earned the win with five scoreless frames in the start.
The Crawdads continue the four-game set in Greenville on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Catch all the action live Hickorycrawdads.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for Crawdads Countdown....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.