|Double Plays Doom 'Dads|
|Written by Staff Reports|
|Friday, 17 May 2013 07:32|
The Hickory Crawdads combined 10 hits, five walks and one hit batsmen to put 16 runners on base against the Delmarva Shorebirds Thursday night. Unfortunately the Crawdads also proceeded to erase a
lot those base runners with a season-high five double plays en route to an 8-6 loss at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The twin killings started early and stayed until the end, as the Crawdads grounded into a 6-4-3 double play in the first, lined into a 3 unassisted DP with the bases loaded in the third, grounded out 5-4-3 in the 4th and 5th, before going around the horn 5-4-3 again in the ninth.
The offense actually started off on a good note, as center fielder Lewis Brinson led off the game with his 9th home run of the year to the left to give Hickory an early 1-0 lead. It was the fourth time this year the 2012 1st round pick hit a leadoff homer.
The advantage would be short lived however, as Crawdads starter Sam Stafford was roughed up to the tune of five runs, one earned, on five hits while recording only two outs in the bottom of the first. The Hickory hurler was hurt by a throwing error from third baseman Joey Gallo that helped four unearned tallies come in.
Down 5-1, the 'Dads began picking away at their deficit in the third when Nick Vickerson lined a two-RBI single to left to make the score 5-3. Hickory would pull within 5-4 with another run in the fourth when Nomar Mazara walked and eventually came in on a wild pitch by Shorebirds starting pitcher Matt Taylor.
Delmarva would pull away again with a run in the fifth off of reliever Andrew Faulkner and two more tallies in the sixth off of Josh McElwee to push their lead back up to four at 8-4. Errors played a factor in both of those innings though, with Joe Maloney's miscue in the fifth and Brinson's dropped catch in the sixth resulting in two more unearned runs for the Shorebirds.
The 'Birds would finish the game with six of their eight runs being unearned thanks to four errors by the 'Dads.
Hickory would score for the last time in the seventh thanks to RBI base knocks from Vickerson and Aflaro to cut the score to 8-6. The Crawdads would twice bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Brinson grounded into the teams 5th double play and Alfaro struck out swinging to end the game.
Vickerson led the Crawdads offensive attack on the night, going a perfect 4-4 with four singles three RBI and a walk. DH Nick Urbanus also had a good night finishing 3-4 with three singles.
Stafford (0-4) took the loss after not escaping the first inning for the second time this year. Taylor (2-3) got the win for the Shorebirds while reliever Matt Hobgood (1) picked up the save after allowing two runs over the final three innings.
The loss drops the Crawdads (21-18) three games back of the Suns in the North Division while the Shorebirds (18-20) remain 5.5 games back. The Crawdads will look to bounce back in game two of the series Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.
NOTES: The Crawdads continue their road trip with 3 more games in Salisbury, MD against the Delmarva ShoreBirds. The 'Dads will return home for a week long home stand starting Monday May 20th.....Individual Tickets for all Crawdads home games are available right now at Hickorycrawdads.com or by calling (828) 322-3000! Group outings, corporate partnerships, Buffalo Wild Wings Claw Club memberships and Ticket Books are also available right now by calling the Front Office at (828) 322-3000.
Photo Courtesy: Nick Vickerson, Hickory Crawdads
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