The Hickory Crawdads built an early 4-0 lead, but couldn't hang on in a 6-5 loss to the Greensboro Grasshoppers Sunday night at NewBridge Bank Park. Carlos Lopez capped off Greensboro's (66-34 overall; 21-10 second half of the South Atlantic League season) huge comeback with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. Sunday's disappointing loss drops Hickory (57-43; 16-15) five games behind
Greensboro for first place in the SAL's Northern Division. The Crawdads have also lost four in a row.
And following their blistering streak (winning 24 of 26 games) a few weeks ago, the Crawdads are 3-13 in their last 16 outings.
The Crawdads took advantage of three early Greensboro errors and jumped on former major league pitcher Dustin Moseley for a pair of runs in the first inning. They scored two more run in the third to take a 4-0 lead. It was also the first time the Crawdads had a lead in this series.
Nomar Mazara had a run-scoring double in the first inning. Mazara took third on the play, thanks to a throwing error by Grasshoppers right fielder Coco Johnson. He scored on Joe Jackson's ground out for a 2-0 lead. The advantage doubled to 4-0 in the third when the 'Dads used two hits and two more 'Hoppers errors to score two more runs.
Luis Marte started the frame with an infield single, followed by a throwing error by Greensboro shortstop TJ Riddle to put Michael De Leon aboard. Evan Van Hoosier reached on a fielder's choice; Marte advanced to third; Mazara came through again with a RBI single to plate Marte. The play also included another error by Johnson in right field, who overran the ball and allowed Van Hoosier to score all the way from first base for Hickory's second run in the inning.
But the Grasshoppers gradually chipped away and eventually tied the game. A sacrifice fly by Brian Anderson in the third got Greensboro on the board; a two-run single by Lopez in the fourth made it, 4-3; a throwing error by Crawdads reliever Ryan Stack allowed Juan Avila to score the tying run in the fifth.
That set the stage for Lopez's heroics in the sixth. De Leon had an RBI single in the seventh, but the Greensboro bullpen took over from there. Ramon Del Orbe (2-1) earned the win after holding Hickory to an unearned run on two hits during his three innings on the mound. Miguel Del Pozo pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his second save of the year.
Slack (6-2) took the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits over 2.1 innings.
Mazara paced Hickory offensively. He finished the night 2-4 with a double, two RBI, and an intentional walk; De Leon went 2-5 with a RBI. Lopez led the way for the Grasshoppers going 3-5, including his eighth homer of the season, and four RBI.
The Crawdads will try to avoid the sweep in the final game of this four-game series beginning tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Crawdads Come Home: The Crawdads will return to L.P. Frans Stadium for a 7-game home stand beginning on Wednesday, July 23rd and running until Tuesday, July 29th! Don't miss out on some of the great upcoming promotions, including Thirsty Thursday (7/24), Star Wars Night/Fireworks Friday (7/25), and Craw-toberfest/Backpack Giveaway (7/26)! TICKETS
All-Star Jersey Auction: The Crawdads are auctioning off the authentic, game worn jerseys from this year's South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Hickory! Jerseys from both the Northern and Southern Division players and coaches are up for bid now on the 'Dads online auction page! AUCTION SITE
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