|Lopez Injuried, Hickory Loses Again|
|Written by Staff Reports|
|Saturday, 27 July 2013 09:20|
The Hickory Crawdads fell victim to a first inning knockout Friday night, as a line drive off the pitching shoulder knocked starting pitcher Frank Lopez from the game and also led to two runs for the Kannapolis Intimidators. That would be all the Intimidators would need, as the first inning tallies held up in the 'Dads 2-1 loss at
The opening frame started innocently enough for Lopez and the Crawdads, with the Intimidators putting a man on first with two outs. That brought up Kannapolis first baseman Keon Barnum, who lined a ball off the left shoulder off Lopez and into left field. The ricochet double allowed Tim Anderson to score all the way from first, and also knocked Lopez from the game after only 2/3 of an inning.
The Intimidators took advantage of two Hickory errors to score another, unearned run in the first for a 2-0 lead they would never surrender.
Kannapolis starting pitcher Tony Bucciferro kept the Crawdads at bay over seven scoreless innings on the mound. The 6'3" righty spread 7 Hickory hits over his 7 IP, walking one and striking out 8. The 'Dads had several scoring opportunities along the way, most notably a bases loaded, one-out situation in the 7th, but each time Bucciferro escaped the frame unscathed.
The 'Dads stayed close thanks to the great relief work of Jose Monegro, Joe Burns and Tyler Smith. Monegro came in for the injured Lopez and tossed 4.1 shutout innings before giving way to Burns and Smith who combined to throw three scoreless innings.
Hickory was able to get on the board in the 8th against Kannapolis reliever Brad Goldberg, with Nick Vickerson doubling to left, moving to third on a ground out, and eventually scoring on a wild pitch to make the score 2-1.
The 'Dads also got their leadoff man aboard in the ninth with a walk to Nomar Mazara, but Goldberg bounced back to get the next three batters and end the game.
Bucciferro (1-3) earned his first win of the year for his efforts, while Lopez (2-5) had insult added to injury with the loss. Goldberg (1) earned the save for pitching the final two innings.
Vickerson led the 'Dads offense going 2-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored, while Ryan Rua also had a multi-hit game finishing 2-4.
The loss is the seventh in the last eight games for the 'Dads (17-16), while the win snaps a 6-game losing streak for the Intimidators (13-21). The teams will play again Saturday at 7:05 for game three of the 4-game series.
NOTES: The Crawdads are still tied for their single-season home run record with 135 long balls on the year. The SAL record stands at 173.....The Crawdads remain on the road for six more games over the next five days against Kannapolis and Charleston. The 'Dads will return home on Thursday, August 1st to begin a week-long home stand at Crawdads Stadium.....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: Frank Lopez, Hickory Crawdads
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